canada africa partner reservation Maui could start phasing out short-term rentals as soon as 2026

Maui could start phasing out short-term rentals as soon as 2026

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Building on efforts in 2022 to increase the minimum stay length to 90 days at non-resort-area short-term rentals in Honolulu, Hawaii Gov. Josh Green signed a bill into law clarifying the counties’ authority to regulate transient accommodations.

Following the state Legislature passing SB 2919 on May 1, and the governor’s movement on May 3, Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen Jr. proposed legislation to phase out more than 7,000 transient vacant rentals by 2026 in Maui.

“The (Mayor’s) bill would phase out and repeal decades-old transient vacation rentals operating in the Apartment District…numbering 7,000 units (2,200 of which are in West Maui), would phase out West Maui units by July 1, 2025, and all other units countywide by Jan. 1, 2026,” the County’s communications office said in a press release on May 2.

With the discontinuation of Transient Vacation Rental, supporters, including the Mayor and his advisory committee, aim to convert previously used short-term rentals for long-term residential use by authorizing individual counties to redefine zoning ordinances.

“Apartment districts are intended to provide higher density, long-term housing to residents, and the bill would revert all Apartment District properties to their intended long-term residential use, according to the proposal,” per the County.

Thus, the bills and other congruent efforts would apparently curb future Airbnb and Vrbo properties by failing to approve new short-term rentals as they phase out existing ones, instead converting condos and homes usually rented to tourists into long-term housing for displaced residents.

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“It’s time we take a stand to house our people by phasing out illegal short-term rentals,” Hawaii Gov. Josh Green said on X on April 23. The governor’s office failed to respond to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Such efforts would be particularly impactful in Maui, where the persistent housing shortage was further exacerbated by the Lahaina wildfires in August. As of December, there were approximately 25,000 short-term rental units, including an estimated 10,000 that are illegally rented units, per reporting by the Associated Press. The Associated Press also noted there were more than 6,000 displaced residents still living in hotels as of late last year.

As of May 6, Maui’s planning commission and county council need to approve the Mayor’s plan.

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