Hawaii economists say Lahaina locals could be priced out of rebuilt town without zoning changes

 By Andrew Selsky And Jennifer Sinco Kelleher THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HONOLULU (AP)-Residents who survived the wildfire that leveled the Hawaii town of Lahaina might not be able to afford to live there after it is rebuilt unless officials alter the zoning laws and make other changes, economists warned Friday. “The risk is very real,? Carl Bonham, executive director of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, told a virtual news conference ahead of the group’s release Friday of its quarterly state economic forecast. Soaring housing prices have already forced some Native Hawaiians to leave the islands and move to the U.S. mainland. The wildfire that claimed at least 97 lives and destroyed 2,200 buildings in the West Maui community of Lahaina, 86% of which were residential, amplifies that problem for…

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