A Hawaii state representative slammed real estate developers Monday for moving in on Maui following a devastating wildfire that left hundreds dead or missing.
The deadly wildfire that destroyed many buildings in the town of Lahaina on Aug. 8, killed at least 114 people and left hundreds missing. Angry residents of Maui made obscene gestures at Biden’s motorcade during his trip to the island Aug. 21, complaining about a failure to send emergency aid.
“Just days after the fire burnt down the entire town of Lahaina, realtors and developers were calling residents who lost their homes and offering to buy their property,” Republican state Rep. Diamond Garcia of Hawaii said. “So, people immediately caught on to what was going on and it looks like right when this happened, the developers came down like vultures and tried to take their property.”
Democratic Gov. Josh Green of Hawaii declared a housing emergency July 17, seeking to address a reported housing shortage. The proclamation gave developers ways around regulations that have made housing in Hawaii the least affordable in the country, according to Reason.
“It’s been three weeks, Jesse, and there’s not been any clear answers,” Garcia said. “I mean, these people lost everything. Their homes, families, loved ones and their children and they are crying for answers, they need an answer, and unfortunately, the response from the federal state and county governments has been pretty quiet.”
“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, so people are frustrated here in Hawaii and it’s really sad to see this kind of federal response,” Garcia continued.
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