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After the devastating wildfire that destroyed approximately 2,200 buildings in Lahaina, Maui, Gov. Josh Green and the state’s most influential construction trade union are supporting modular and prefabricated housing, reports Stewart Yerton for the Honolulu Civil Beat. During an interview with the local news source, Green said homes or panels built off-site and even off-island will play a role in creating homes quickly to serve displaced residents and could be part of the mix to rebuilding Lahaina.

“I don’t think it’s the answer for all things,” he added. “I don’t think it’s what everybody wants all the time. But I’m sure there are individuals out there now who are suffering terrible loss who would love to have a small house that could be put up quickly.”

Andrew Pereira, director of public affairs for the Pacific Resource Partnership, confirmed the organization is on board. Pereira said it is vital to build new homes quickly so island residents aren’t forced to leave — and possibly never return — for lack of housing.

PRP’s buy-in is important. The nonprofit, which represents the 6,000-member Hawaii Regional Council of Carpenters and 240 general contractors, also has been one of Green’s major political supporters.

PRP has long opposed pre-made construction because of concerns developers using the products would undercut Hawaii’s construction industry – one of the few sectors that provides a consistent living wage in an economy dominated by tourism.

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