A new video out of Hawaii shows a man who claims to have been at a government meeting describe what he heard at that meeting and how “vultures” in real estate development are trying to swoop down and buy up the burned-out land at low prices, with the government working with them to do so.
Beginning, the man said that the meeting was run by the governor and the developers were demanding the government nix the permitting process to make things run faster, saying, “I just came from a meeting, run by the governor, all these developers were talking about ‘forget the permit process. We’re gonna build homes, not even a hyena, and make these homes available.’ You know what the truth of the that is? The like fast track their development. They aren’t fucking helping people over here.”
Continuing, he then got to what the scheme was all about, saying, “There was not one conversation in this meeting about people, but people, every conversation that was had, every developer that came up then thought about what they could offer was about getting rid of the permits, so that they can steal water from our streams. They can fucking fast-track ‘westernization’ development, and forget about the culture and place. That’s gonna be our that’s gonna be our hardest journey in this long road to recovery.”
— Badwahine♑️🔥🐬 (@Maui_anne) August 18, 2023
This man isn’t the only one to worry about what the real estate developers will be doing in the wake of the wildfires. The New York Post interviewed numerous residents of the island, all of whom were upset with the president, both for his intentions in visiting and the limited amount of help and aid that they have so far received from the federal government as they struggle to recover.
One of them, however, also noted that the island could be permanently changed by real estate schemes following the fires, saying, “It’s like a f*cking warzone here…Maui’s never going to be the same. Lahaina’s [a village on the island] never going to be the same. They’re going to put resorts up all along here — Lahaina is going to lose its character as an old whaling village. We can’t get the historical sites back.”
Further, a press release from the governor of Hawaii said, “Governor Josh Green, M.D., Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen and other officials addressed serious community concerns relating to the disaster recovery process and provided updates on round-the-clock efforts to bring stability back to Maui residents. A top concern was that residents are being approached about selling fire-damaged home sites, by people posing as real estate agents who may have ill intent. It is an issue the Governor already has been working to combat.”
Governor Green was quoted in that press release as saying, “I’ve reached out to the Attorney General to explore options to do a moratorium on any sales of properties that have been damaged or destroyed. Moreover, I would caution people that it’s going to be a very long time, before any growth, or housing can be built. And so, you would be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here.”
He then added, “I’ll also tell you that this is going to impact how we view, because of tragedy, how we view all of the development in our state. And much of what we do, is challenged by other laws, federal and otherwise, that don’t let us restrict who can buy in our state. But we can do it deliberately during a crisis, and that’s what we’re doing. So for my part I will try to allow no one from outside our state to buy any land until we get through this crisis and decide what Lāhainā should be in the future.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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