Michael Roven Poai
• Age: 47
• Occupation: machine operator
• Town of residence: Kapa‘a
• Prior experience in government/leadership: Former member, Kapa‘a Rotary Club.
Q: The median price of a single-family home on Kaua‘i is over $1 million, and the county’s 2018 General Plan reported 44% of all households are cost burdened. How will you address the affordable housing crisis in Kaua‘i County?
We must get serious about affordable-home ownership and look to increase our housing supply. We should focus on improving our policies and how the county can assist in funding affordable housing for our local families.
If there are funds committed to housing, where are they being directed to? How much of those funds are being directed to home ownership and how many to rental housing?
When it comes to housing, more of our efforts should be aimed towards home ownership and towards individuals who are cost burdened. We need to be more targeted.
Q: The coronavirus pandemic decimated the tourism industry Kaua‘i and the state are so reliant upon. Should Kaua‘i County make economic diversity a priority, and if so, how?
Absolutely. We should be looking at other sectors in our community, begin to explore them, and then take advantage of those markets to help with our economic diversification.
Energy and diversity exist, but our focus has been too narrow, and that is very understandable knowing that Hawai‘i has been promoted as a tourist destination.
Source: The Garden Island