Carroll's guests are Jane Pascual and Steve Lohse, residents of Chinatown Gateway Plaza. The topic is the City of Honolulu's plan to fast-track the sale of this, and eleven other affordable/mixed-income properties because the City cannot "manage" the properties. However, the City has contracts with professional
property managers who manage the properties. The problem is because the City could not manage the contracts, it is now making a sale that will force many residents out of their homes. Affordable housing is a fast dwindling commodity. Even the definition of "affordable" is becoming unaffordable. What will become of the current residents, including those who live in the "marketable" middle- income units? They are not getting answers to
their questions and the situation has become very stressful. There are over 1,200 rental units in question. The residents need to know what is being planned for their lives, and what their alternatives are.
The sale may be a good thing, but considering how other affordable housing projects have been handled, the residents want assurance it will be done the right way. Right now, it looks like rent will be going up 10 percent a year, and parking will go from $80 a month to $180 a month. The reason; the City needs to cover its shortfall due to rents
not being raised
for the past 10 years. Though rents should, and need to go up, keep it reasonable. Based on this plan, rents will soon be out of range for the residents, as well as most citizens of Hawaii.
Residents are not necessarily against a sale, or the company that wants to buy the properties, but they do want transparency and fairness. The proposed sale was rushed through the City Council without discussion or due consideration. The results will be extreme, forcing out many of the current residents.
We are asking you to call your City Councilmembers and tell them to vote "yes" on resolution 13-292 to stop the current sale, allowing time to rethink how it should be structured. The pending and related resolutions are:
- Resolution 13-291 - Relating to the Honolulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative - proposes the Administration stop the sale.
- Resolution 13-292 - Relating to Rescision of the Honolulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative - proposes the City Council stop the sale.
- Resolution 13-274 - Urging the City Administration to Develop an Affordable Housing Policy for the City's Transit-Oriented Development Special Districts.
- Follow: affordable housing, Chinatown Gateway Plaza