For the third year in a row, RAM, in partnership with the County of Maui, the Maui Homeless Alliance, the Governor’s Office and several social service agencies, will sponsor the third annual Maui County Landlord Summit on Wednesday, July 25, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Maui Beach Hotel in Kahului. Property owners and property managers are invited to attend this free event to learn how they can help reduce homelessness on Maui by making more rentals available to those who need them the most.
“Maui has a severe housing shortage, and as leaders on housing issues, the Realtors Association of Maui feels it is our duty to raise awareness, educate others and help find solutions,” said RAM Government Affairs Director Lawrence Carnicelli. “Housing is difficult for many Maui families. By working with landlords and the multitude of agencies gathering at the Maui County Landlord Summit, we hope to help some of these families find a light at the end of the tunnel.”
Finding safe and affordable housing on Maui can be a significant hurdle for low-income or homeless individuals and families. While they may be approved for a subsidized housing program through a local nonprofit agency or have a Section 8 voucher, many face the difficulty of finding a landlord who will approve their rental application. With that in mind, the summit aims to demystify and destigmatize Maui County’s Section 8 Program and other support services, while educating property owners and property managers about the social service programs and services available to them.
Among other things, the Maui County Landlord Summit will feature a trade show, remarks from guest speakers, and panel discussions featuring landlords, tenants and representatives from agencies that provide financial support and other services to Maui’s housing-challenged residents. In addition, a “Housing Hero” award will be given to a landlord or property manager who actively works with social service agencies to find rentals for individuals and families who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Last year, Brandy Aki, a full-time property manager and principal broker of Emerald Club Realty, Inc., was honored as the 2017 “Housing Hero” by the Maui Homeless Alliance.
“I was taken by complete surprise,” she said. “I am a strong believer in paying it forward. Helping is what I do every day and I am honored to receive this award.” Aki said she was grateful for the opportunity to participate in one of the summit’s panel discussions. “As a full-time Realtor and property manager for over 22 years, it was a wonderful experience to share my knowledge with others and hopefully encourage them to support these programs,” she said.
Participants in this year’s Maui County Landlord Summit will include RAM, the Office of the Governor, Office of the Mayor, Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns, Maui Homeless Alliance, Legal Aid Society, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Ka Hale A Ke Ola Homeless Resource Centers, Family Life Center, Catholic Charities of Hawaii and Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc.
“This may be only one step, but we, as an organization, are trying to do everything we can,” Carnicelli said. “Maui is a small community—and one big ohana.”
All property owners or representatives of property owners are encouraged to attend this year’s Maui County Landlord Summit. Advanced registration is required and the deadline to register is Friday, July 6. A buffet lunch is included in the event. To register, call 270-7805 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sarah Ruppenthal
The Maui News – June 16, 2018