The law was enacted to limit the use of residential properties as vacation rentals.

The city on Friday suspended a controversial law that mandates a 30–day minimum rental period on vacation rentals to accommodate Maui wildfire survivors in need of emergency housing.

The suspension is effective immediately and will last through the end of this month, according to a press release.

“We hope that this will provide some relief for any of our displaced neighbors who are in need of a safe place to stay during these trying times,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said.

City ordinances have for years limited the use of residential properties as short-term rentals, except in parts of Waikiki and Ko Olina, but platforms like Airbnb have expanded the vacation rental market.

An October 2022 ordinance gave the city the power to fine violators $10,000 per day, and the mayor said the city would impose fines and aggressively target illegal short-term rentals.

Officials prepared the Hawaii Convention Center on Thursday to house as many as 2,000 visitors from Maui, although many of those who arrived there found other places to spend the night.

Blangiardi also encouraged rental property owners and managers to provide free or discounted temporary housing to wildfire survivors.

“We now know that there are countless Maui residents who will need places to stay in the coming weeks. I am counting on our local rental property owners to keep those individuals their top priority,” he said.

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