CIRA de CASTILLOTGI Staff Writer
LIHU’E — A newly released study provides a detailed and revealing portrait of
some of the neediest people on Kaua’i — the island’s homeless.
statewide study identifies 15,129 people, or 25 percent of Kaua’i’s population,
as hidden homeless or at risk of homeless, and it shows that 153 residents,
including 13 children, are in need of permanent housing.
updated County Housing Agency report, presented to the County Council on
Wednesday, shows county housing rental projects more than 95 percent full.
Currently, the county the county has no plans or funding to build more rental
The issue of housing needs on Kaua’i was a raised at a Citizens
Advisory Committee meeting on the General Plan Update held last week. Some CAC
members expressed concerns that draft GPU is projecting development over the
next 20 years without current information on Kaua’i’s housing needs.
Council meeting, Councilman Gary Hooser, referencing the CAC meeting, asked
county housing officials how they are able to plan without the benefit a
housing needs assessment. Ken Rainforth, housing administrator, said that
although such a study would be useful it would also be expensive.
requested that the housing agency do a North Shore housing needs assessment in
preparation for Council consideration of legislation on Princeville
Corporation’s request to delete a zoning requirement for 100 units of employee
housing, a condition of expanding its shopping center.
A public hearing
on the proposed Princeville bill is scheduled for March 15 at 2 p.m. in the
Councilman James Tokioka expanded Hooser’s request and
asked the housing agency to do a countywide housing needs
According to the state’s Homeless Needs Assessment Study
for1999, service providers have expressed concerns over recent federal policy
to de-concentrate poverty by providing for income mixing which brings higher
income residents into lower income projects.
Providers fear that this will
limit the supply of affordable housing for the low or very low income families.
They say that affordable housing is already out of reach for those relying on
public assistance or working part time jobs.
Revealing statistics show that
the majority of hidden homeless (3,396) and those at risk for homelessness
(11,321) on Kaua’i were lifetime or longtime residents of the island, in their
late 40’s, female and Caucasians.
The study defines hidden homeless as
persons who share accommodations with others who may or may not be relatives or
depend on public assistance for their shelter payments. In both situations if
public assistance or the generosity of relatives a and friends were withdrawn
there is a strong likelihood that at least some of those persons would end up
The at-risk for homelessness population on Kaua’i is 11, 321 and
identified by the study as those who families or individuals who could become
homeless in less than three months if they lost their primary source of
Of the 67 people identified in the study as Kaua’i’s unsheltered
homeless two thirds are male with an average age of 38, Caucasian. The 20
percent of this group are lifetime residents, most have five years or less
living on Kaua’i.
The profile of Kaua’i’s sheltered homeless identified as
families or individuals who do not have a fixed, regular, and adequate
nighttime residence and have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or
private operated shelter providing temporary living accommodations, are
predominately Hawaiian or part Hawaiian females in their late thirties.
The Kaua’i children identified in the study were profiled as sheltered
homeless an average of seven years old equally divided by gender and 77 percent
Hawaiian or part Hawaiian.
On the positive side Kaua’i’s homeless according
to the study were having their basic food needs and substance abuse need met
but were in need of dental care, medication for mental health, life skills and