As search and rescue teams combed through Maui’s ruins, traumatized survivors began receiving texts, voice messages, and letters from speculators and realtors offering to buy their burnt-out homes. The Lahaina fire killed 100 people and razed 1,200 buildings, mostly residential properties, displacing around 11,000 residents. Local advocates created the Lahaina Community Land Trust to boost affordable housing and preserve the town’s unique character. As many as 30 residential properties in the burn zone are thought to have changed hands. The LCLT wants to merge community building and economic development – a circular model inspired by traditional Hawaiian values and governance.

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