HomeAsian AmericansMaui recover survey highlights immediate housing and economical needs

Maui recover survey highlights immediate housing and economical needs

Nine months after the wildfires hit the island of Maui, a survey of wildlife survivors has offered insights into housing and economic concerns and the immediate needs of residents.

The survey, conducted by the Council of Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA), surveyed 1,471 people who filled out the form to participate in Alaska Airlines’s Maui Care Flights program. Participants were asked to answer questions “about their housing, economic and employment status as well as to identify their most urgent needs,” as reported on by Honolulu Civil Beat.

The data shows that the majority of the respondents, 82 percent, had either been living in Maui for the past 10 plus years, or were born and raised. Aside from English, Ilocano, Spanish and Tagalog are the most common languages spoken at home. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents have less than a college degree and have no technical certification. Single parents with minor children made up 18 percent of applicants, while 12 percent of the applicants rely on a shared car or a non-car form of transportation, Maui Now reports.

Seventy-five percent of families are currently in temporary housing, while 25 percent live in permanent housing, some of which is off Maui. For the 75 percent of families in temporary housing, the lack of housing stability has been a big concern, with half of the households in temporary housing only being in their current location for four months. 72 percent of families said that they wish to reside in West Maui, while six percent of families expect to leave Maui for either a different island or the mainland.

Over 58 percent of adults work full time, while a total of 24 percent are either working part-time, or unemployed and currently looking for more work. The median income for these families has also seen a 25 percent decrease from pre-fire levels, with families making $3,000 – $3,499 per month on average.

As for needs, the most urgent need for families, according to the data, is financial assistance, with 46 percent of families describing it as urgently needed. Housing follows behind at 33 percent, with 26 percent saying that food is urgently needed.

Kuhio Lewis, the CNHA’s CEO said that “This data provides transparency for the public and service providers regarding the progress of families nearly 10 months post-fire,” in an interview with Honolulu Civil Beat. “While some strides have been made, it’s evident that significant work remains to restore normalcy to Maui. Our aim is for this report to enhance the effectiveness of agencies and individuals in serving Maui’s community.”

The majority of these responses were gathered in late May. Alaska Airlines is donating 180 roundtrip tickets monthly for any qualifying to survivors to any destination the airline serves.

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