Though formed nearly a decade ago to make it easy for people making less than the median income to buy their own homes, the nonprofit Na Hale O Maui is finally building its first home.
“This was always our goal—the building of new homes affordable in perpetuity through use of a sustainable lease agreement that can be passed on to one’s heirs and takes the cost of land out of the pricing and still provides all the benefits of traditional home ownership, including the development of home equity,” said NHOM Executive Director John Andersen in an Oct. 30 press release. “Now we are back to our original business model and our first affordable in perpetuity new home to be built is located on Kama Street in Waikapu. It is a 4 bedroom 2 and 1/2 bath home that has 1,600 sg. ft. of living area with an additional 350+ sg. ft. when the garage and lanai are included.”
MauiTime first wrote about Na Hale O Maui in 2007, not long after it formed and shortly before the entire housing market blew apart, leading to the worst economic recession since the 1930s. The nonprofit’s plan, then and now, was simple: use the community land trust model to separate the price of the home itself from the land on which it sits. That way, a person can buy a new single-family home without using a scary mortgage or managing a lot of ohana units. Of course, the person also has to live in the house full-time and agree that, if needed, sale of the house can only be back to the land trust itself (for a profit, sure, but not anywhere near what could be made selling on the open market).
NHOM’s goals back in 2007 were ambitious, to say the least.
“Within the next five years, they hope to have 300 to 500 projects done,” we wrote in our Feb. 22, 2007 story “Dream Home.” “Within a decade, they want to see between 2,000 and 2,500 properties on Maui held in community trust.”
Of course, none of that happened. The Great Recession led NHOM away from building new affordable homes to reselling foreclosed homes. “Despite the worst recession since the Great Depression NHOM was able to place 30 families in 3 and 4 bedroom affordable homes over the past few years,” states Na Hale O Maui’s Oct. 30 news release. “With two more to be placed shortly for a total of 32 homes overall.”
Anyway, NHOM will hold a free Homebuyer Seminar on Sat., Nov. 14 at the J. Walter Cameron Center. For more information, call 808-244-6110.
Photo courtesy Na Hale O Maui