State Purchase of Former Maui Hotel Provides Short-term Housing for Fire Survivors, Long-term Housing for Teachers and Other Workforce Residents of the Valley Isle

Posted on Mar 28, 2024 in News

Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation
For Immediate Release: March 28, 2024

HONOLULU—The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) announced today that it closed on the purchase of the former Maui Sun Hotel in Kihei from Haggai International Institute for Advanced Leadership Training.

The newly renamed Hale ʻO Lāʻie, with 175 guest rooms, will initially be operated as temporary housing for certain individuals and families displaced by last August’s wildfires. HHFDC has contracted with Paramount Hotels LLC, the owner and manager of the nearby Maui Coast Hotel, to provide property management and related services for the project.

In accordance with the legislative appropriation that funded the acquisition, Hale ʻO Lāʻie will be repurposed as a teacher and workforce rental housing project with public prekindergarten classroom space once the wildfire-related use has ended. The County of Maui, which will lease and take possession of the property next year, expects to begin the process of selecting a development partner later this year.

Upon closing, HHFDC entered into a 75-year ground lease with the County of Maui. The complex, which features 175 guest rooms, has been renamed Hale ʻO Lāʻie at the suggestion of Maui Mayor Richard T. Bissen, Jr.

A phased opening of the property for Maui fire survivors is planned to begin by early May.

Governor Josh Green, M.D. said that the purchase marks a major milestone toward achieving the goal of ensuring near-term housing stability for Maui fire survivors to enable them to focus on rebuilding their lives. At the same time, he added, Hale ʻO Lāʻie will help to meet his long-term objective to add 10,000 affordable housing units for Hawaii residents statewide.

“This transaction would not have been possible without the funding provided by state lawmakers,” Green said. “And I commend HHFDC, Mayor Bissen and his administration, and the Maui County Council for their collaboration on a housing initiative that makes sense both in the short and long terms.”

The $38 million purchase was made possible through funding appropriated for the initiative by the Hawaii State Legislature last year. The HHFDC Board of Directors approved final transaction terms at its February meeting. The Maui County Council, which previously had budgeted funds to assist the project, greenlighted the details of the county’s involvement last Friday.

Hale ʻO Lāʻie adds to Maui’s housing options at a critical time, fulfilling the immediate need for stability for fire survivors while eventually providing much-needed rental units for our residents, including teachers and other essential workers,” Bissen said.

“The fact that the property will be opening for occupancy within weeks is a tremendous advantage,” the mayor said. “We are grateful for the assistance in making this asset available to our community.”

HHFDC Executive Director Dean Minakami thanked the Legislature and the County of Maui for their support. “We strongly believe that the best housing projects come to fruition when we forge partnerships with other agencies and the private sector,” Minakami said.

Details of the purchase, as well as other background, are in the accompanying fact sheet.

About the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation
HHFDC’s primary mission is to advance affordable housing opportunities for the people of Hawaii. Additional information is available at

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Gordon Pang
Housing Information Officer
Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation
Office: 808-341-4069