A new coalition of residents and community organizers hopes that a more holistic approach to dealing with land use in Maui County will start up now that Alexander & Baldwin has ended the cultivation of sugarcane on its 37,000 acres. Called the Hukilike No Maui Coalition, the organization includes groups like Sierra Club Maui and FACE Maui Housing.
“All of Maui’s people could benefit if we adopt a sustainable approach to the use of the Central Maui lands,” said Lehua Simon, lifelong Pukalani resident and member of the Hukilike No Maui Coalition in an Apr. 18 Sierra Club Maui news release. “We have an unique opportunity right now to address the needs of Maui’s residents. If we make those changes today, Maui’s future will be so much brighter for ourselves and our future generations.”
One of these potential changes is the coalition’s “15% for the Future” plan, which calls on A&B to give or sell lands in Pu‘unēnē and Hali‘imaile to locals for sustainable small-scale agriculture and affordable housing. In fact, the organization will rally at noon TODAY (Tuesday, Apr. 24) in front of A&B’s Maui office (located at 11 S. Pu‘unēnē Ave., Kahului).
“In 2017, the Hukilike Coalition did an affordable housing survey where we asked residents to tell us about their problems with housing on Maui,” said Rob Weltman, chairperson of the Sierra Club Maui Group and member of the Hukilike No Maui Coalition, in the news release. “The responses were sobering: so many people who have lived here for generations are not seeing a future on this island because they can’t afford to buy or rent housing in this market. It’s clear the island’s environmental resources are under stress, but so are Maui’s people. We need to build far more affordable housing and expand our local food production.”
Go to Togetherformaui.org for more information.
Photo: Justin Ennis/Flickr