Keep people in their apartments
A fine headline story was written in TGI (April 4) “Must Move,” but what a sad article it was. Eighty-two people will have to move from their low-income housing at the Courtyards at Waipouli apartments.
The people living there (some for years) are paying $989 and $1,244 for rent, which isn’t exactly cheap unless you are comparing it to outside rentals, where even studio apartments are going for $1,500, barely big enough for one person and not a family.
As the article says, our past council and mayor dropped the reins and let this terrible situation happen. As our Rep. Jimmy Tokioka so wisely points out, he isn’t sure why the previous administration didn’t acquire the property in the past, but as far as he knew the legislature put aside money for affordable housing statewide to the tune of $500 million last season. “But what I do know is the county under the previous administration had the opportunity to buy back the units and for some reason they did not opt to purchase the property,” he said.
These 82 affordable housing units were not built for the sole purpose of having a place to stay for people who could not afford higher-priced residences. They were built as a requirement for the developer to build million-dollar homes overlooking Kalapaki Bay.
JoAnn Yukimura and other previous administrators worked hard to see to it that any affordable units stayed affordable in perpetuity if the county or a private party bought them back. Whomever built them would get to do so as a condition to build market-price units elsewhere, never forcing people to abandon their homes. Let’s take money out of the equation and make sure that nothing as deplorable as the coming evictions ever happens again. In fact, hopefully our new mayor and council can step up to the plate and find a way to let these people remain in their apartments.
Glenn Mickens, Kapaa