MORE "LACK OF" INFORMATION ABOUT THE CITY'S SALE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Carroll's guests are Jane Pascual, a resident of Chinatown Gateway Plaza, and former Councilman Rod Tam, who introduced the original resolution to sell the buildings back in 2008. Also, Bob Nakata of Faith Action for Community Equity (FACE),
calls in to contribute to the conversation about the City's affordable housing sale to Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners.
Rod Tam tells us the original resolution intended to preserve affordable housing, including mixed income units, with the City still maintaining ownership of the land and the buyers acting as managers. The City and potential buyers were supposed to communicate and work out details with the tenants and the citizens of Hawaii. Jane Pascual tells
us that is not what is going on and many details of the sale are unknown. The City now says they will do anything to close the sale. Residents do know rents will be going up 10 percent a year for the next ten years, making the units unaffordable and eliminating the mixed income units. It may be, the City or the buyers want the units to be all "Section 8", with the government making up the difference.
Jane Pascual tells us she is not opposed to the sale or of rent going up, but not that much. The problem is all of the unanswered questions about the transaction.
Carroll found approved building permits from November, 2013, listing the owner of Chinatown Gateway as Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners, the group currently negotiating the purchase of Chinatown Gateway and the other affordable housing units. The permit is for nine million dollars for repair and maintenance of Chinatown Gateway. Do they already own the building? If
not, how did they get a permit? Note the fast turnaround on the attached permit. It was entered 11/27/13, reviewed 12/2/13, and completed 12/6/13. (Link here to building permit.)
The next question, and this is a big one - if the buyer cannot find a lender, why would the City loan them the money, especially when the City claims it does not have any money?
We have many more questions about how the sale is being handled, so we sent a list to both Mayor Caldwell and Mr. Mark Chandler, Director CPD HUD, Honolulu. However, we did not get answers for this Sunday's show, as requested. Link here to questions
for Mayor Caldwell, and link here for questions for Mr. Chandler. We think you will find the questions very revealing.
So many unanswered questions is why the sale should not be rushed through and closed by March 31, 2014, like Mayor Caldwell wants to do. We need to stop, take a closer look, and make sure everything is worked out and is properly done.
HUD Letter to Mayor Caldwell 12/6/13 - Untimely Expenditures
HUD Letter to Mayor Caldwell 12/13/13 - Annual Community Assessment Report
- Follow: affordable housing, Chinatown Gateway Plaza, Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners , Highland Property Develpment LLC, HUD, Deptartment of Housing and Urban Development, Mayor Kirk Caldwell, building permits, city grants