In the wake of the devastating fires that have left hundreds missing, many of them children, Maui residents are facing another crisis: evictions. On a recent episode of his show, Jesse Watters delved into the disturbing new development.
Residents of Maui are expressing frustration and suspicion as they face a wave of evictions that many believe are aimed to benefit landlords and property developers.
Adding fuel to the fire is the timing of an emergency housing proclamation signed by Hawaii’s Democratic Governor just three weeks before a devastating wildfire. Residents are left questioning who really benefits from these policy decisions.
“Hawaiians are being evicted from their homes so landlords can cash in,” Watters said in his report.
“We’ve been receiving call after call of people who are being asked to be evicted by their landlords, people who are being displaced during a time of emergency when their house was like the only house standing in their neighborhood, simply because the owner of the house realized that their investment is no longer a sound investment,” said one local resident during the Maui County Council emergency meeting.
Adding to the suspicion is the emergency housing proclamation signed by Democrat Governor of Hawaii, Josh Green, just three weeks before the fires.
According to the press release, “The Emergency Proclamation Relating to Housing, signed by Governor Green on July 17, 2023, aims to streamline the development process and empower developers and stakeholders to contribute to the creation of more housing opportunities. The Emergency Proclamation reflects extensive input from state and county agencies that provided details on process maps, application checklists, common areas of approval delays, and recommended touchpoints for engagement.”
“Through the Governor’s Emergency Proclamation, a streamlined process has been put in place to accelerate housing production while maintaining the highest standards of quality.”
Some residents have described the proclamation as highly suspicious.
“To my knowledge, this was the first emergency proclamation in the country that didn’t have a preceding incident,” said another local resident during the council meeting. “This was just from my knowledge, was just to streamline development on Maui and it is allocated all decision-making power to one person, the housing officer of the governor, Nani Medeiros, who’s unelected, who can trump every single thing that you do. They’re meeting with developers, private landowners.”
It can be recalled that Hawaii’s Democrat Governor Josh Green announced that his administration is actively considering acquiring properties in Lahaina that have been devastated by recent wildfires.
“I’m already thinking of ways for the state to acquire that land so that we can put it into workforce housing, to put it back into families, or make it open spaces in perpetuity as a memorial to the people who were lost,” Green said.
“We want this to be something we remember after the pain passes as a magic place. Lahaina will rebuild. The tragedy right now is the loss of life. The buildings can be rebuilt over time, even the banyan tree may survive, but we don’t want this to become a clear space where then people from overseas just come and decide they’re gonna take it. The state will take it and preserve it first.”
Watters raised concerns that wealthy landowners like Mark Zuckerberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeff Bezos, could benefit from the situation.
“The emergency housing proclamation was declared weeks before the actual emergency created a housing emergency,” said Watters. “This emergency proclamation has been described as a gift to developers. The residents are apoplectic because of all the emergency powers. They go to a housing czar, and residents get no say. Now, the residents think developers, government officials, and all those billionaires who have bought up land in Hawaii like Zuckerberg, Oprah, Bezos are going to take advantage of the devastation.”
61-year-old Christine Borge, a Lahaina resident who lost her home in the fire, blasted high-profile individuals such as Jeff Bezos and Oprah Winfrey of exploiting the situation.
“Jeff Bezos, you got what you wanted. Oprah, you got what you wanted — F*** us all over,” she said, implying that the disaster would benefit wealthy individuals who have vested interests in the area.
Republican Representative Diamond Garcia of the Hawaii House of Representatives joined the show, pointing out the lack of clear information from federal and state authorities. “When asked what the death count was for children, the answer was, ‘I don’t know.’ When asking FEMA and calling FEMA for more resources, they get the voicemail,” said Garcia.
Maui residents say they’re being evicted so landlords can cash in and they’re highly suspicious of the Democrat governor of Hawaii signing an emergency housing proclamation 3 weeks before the fires. They say rich developers are the ones winning here, not them..
To make matters… pic.twitter.com/kfpwdNJ5mY
— Jesse Watters (@JesseBWatters) August 29, 2023
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