Investors jump to benefit from Maui fires
- Web Desk
- Aug 18, 2023
HAWAII: The devastating wildfire on Maui, Hawaii, continues to rage, leaving residents of Lahaina anxious about potential opportunistic land development following the catastrophe.
Amidst the ruins where 80 per cent of houses have been damaged or destroyed, fears are growing that investors may exploit the situation. Hawaii Governor Josh Green estimated losses of nearly $5.6 billion, with the rebuilding of Maui alone projected to incur such costs.
As islanders grapple with recovery and refuge, some investors are already approaching Lahaina homeowners who lost their homes, offering to buy their land. A Kako’o Haleakal member of a non-profit organization expressed frustration in a video posted on Instagram, calling out the audacity of investors and realtors capitalizing on the tragedy.
Details about the investors remain uncertain, but locals have reported similar encounters. Mark Stefl, a resident, rebuffed developers who approached him to sell his land, expressing his determination to remain despite the devastation.
Native Hawaiian activist Keoni called for people to document realtor calls in order to expose them. The fires have forced over 4,000 people to flee their homes and claimed at least 101 lives, with a rising death toll anticipated.
As Lahaina’s average home value reportedly hovers around $1 million, experts worry that affordable housing may give way to commercial interests. While Governor Green explores options to halt property sales for the damaged or destroyed areas, residents emphasize the need to preserve their community against exploitative development.
In light of the catastrophe’s ongoing impact, the fate of Lahaina hangs in the balance, prompting calls for careful and compassionate rebuilding efforts.