LIHUE — Adam Roversi was recently appointed director of the county Housing Agency.
Prior to accepting the position, he had served as a deputy county attorney since 2014. People might remember him most recently as a 2018 candidate for Kauai County Council. During his campaign, one of the primary items he planned to address was the high cost of housing on Kauai. While he didn’t win the election, his new position will now allow him the opportunity to have a direct effect.
“Access to affordable housing is no doubt the most pressing quality-of-life issue currently facing our community,” he said in a press release.
His goal is to create as many permanent or “very long-term” affordable homes for community members as possible, he said.
In order to achieve this goal, one of the first steps he will take in his new job is to “revisit” the county housing policy and determine ways it has either succeeded or failed in terms of increasing affordable housing over the past decade. He said he will work with the County Council and administration to “implement appropriate changes.”
“More broadly, I also plan to work to identify underutilized county and state land to proactively push county-controlled housing projects that are not reliant on workforce-housing requirements associated with private development,” he said.
Roversi has been a resident of Kilauea since 1987, and decided to pursue law after working as a building contractor who, at one point, became involved in fighting for the water rights of a friend. He obtained specialty certificates in environmental and Hawaiian law from the University of Hawaii’s William S. Richardson School of Law.
He also taught legal writing at the school, and clerked for current Chief Justice Mark Recktenwald at the Hawaii Supreme Court, federal Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren at U.S. District Court, and for Chief Judge Craig Nakamura at the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals.
He returned to Kauai to take the post as a deputy county attorney.
“I joined the county because I genuinely believe that local government done right can be one of the most effective vehicles for improving the quality of life for local families and preserving our beautiful island,” Roversi said in a press release.
Roversi grabbed the reins of his new position from Steve Franco, who had served as the acting housing director since April. Franco was tasked with continuing to work on projects, including the completion of the Koa‘e Makana workforce housing rental project with 133 units that is currently under construction in Koloa. A lottery for prospective renters was completed in July.
Prior to Franco’s appointment, Kanani Fu served as housing director since 2016 before resigning earlier this year. She continues to work with the Housing Agency as housing development manager.
When Roversi isn’t working, he’s the men’s coach at Hanalei Canoe Club. He also serves as the vice chair of the Kauai Bar Association, vice chair of the board for Ho‘ike Community Television, and is a regular volunteer at the Fifth Circuit Court’s Self-Help Center.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to continue to serve our island as the director of the Housing Agency, and look forward to working on this incredibly important issue,” he said.
Coco Zickos, county reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or firstname.lastname@example.org.