Hawaii’s Governor Wants to Stop Developers From Buying Burnt Land

By: Carissa | Last updated: Sep 10, 2023

Hawaii has experienced catastrophic wildfires that have scorched the beautiful lands of Maui.

Hawaii’s governor is now trying to stop developers from buying the destroyed land as the island and its inhabitants attempt to recover from the deadliest wildfires the U.S. has seen in more than 100 years. The governor is doing all he can to prevent developers from buying land in an effort to halt them from building luxury properties.

The Governor Has Reason to Be Concerned

Governor Josh Green has major concerns about developers acquiring the destroyed property. While the wildfires have been devastating to the Hawaiian community, some developers may see it as an opportunity to buy land and build lucrative properties.

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Source: Hawaiian State Teachers Association

He believes that newly constructed homes would attract wealthy buyers and add to a mounting housing crisis that has already forced Native Hawaiians out of their land.

Wariness of Developers Trying to “Steal” Land

“It’s going to be a very long time before any growth or housing can be built,” said Governor Green. He also expressed his worries about developers trying to “steal” land from the natives who suffered from the natural disaster.

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Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

“So, you will be pretty poorly informed if you try to steal land from our people and then build here,” he added. Instead of new housing, the governor aspires to build a memorial at the site of the wildfires.

Governor Green Prioritizes His People

Despite the major cost of rehabbing areas that were damaged by the wildfires, Governor Green has pledged to keep viable tourist spots affordable for Hawaiian natives.

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Source: Jerry Uomala/Getty Images

Lahaina, one of the tourist attractions that was affected by the wildfires, is a major moneymaker for the Hawaiian community. The area needs to be reconstructed, but the governor has promised not to let Lahaina “get too expensive for locals after rebuilding.”

Residents Warned to Be Cautious of Buyers

Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has warned homeowners to be cautious when being contacted about the potential sale of their properties.

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Source: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The department said that Maui residents are getting lowball offers from buyers during their desperate time, and officials don’t want them to get taken advantage of. “We are disheartened to hear that survivors of this catastrophe are being approached by unscrupulous persons whose only goal is to prey upon them,” the department said in a statement.