Residents in low-income housing fight back against rent hike

George Fox
George Fox
Serafina Smith
Serafina Smith

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They're facing a major rent hike at their low-income housing complex, and now some worried residents are fighting back. They held two meetings Friday at Keola Hoonanea in Liliha. Many of the tenants are elderly, and have disabilities.

Hawaiiana is the property manager of Keola Hoonanea. The board of directors is proposing a 48% rent increase.

Many of the residents are on fixed-incomes. They have 30-days to comment on the proposed hike, starting from the date a notice was sent out: September 14th. Residents say they didn't get the notice until this past Monday or Tuesday.

The letter lists nine renovation reasons for the proposed increase.

"A number of those issues speak to both resident safety and security. Fire safety and security systems, there are major plumbing repairs that need to be done" said David Keola of Hawaiiana.

"This is insane that we have to pay for garden benches and lobby renovations and new fire extinguishers. That's not our responsibility" said resident Serafina Smith.

"I mean, to think that you could get $197 for people like this is unbelievable. there are people here who make less than that" said resident George Fox.

That $197 hike would be for those paying $410 a month on rent. Folks paying $515 would see their rent spike up to $762.

Hawaiiana plans to file for the proposed increase on October 1. Management has to get the thumbs up from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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Elderly and disabled tenants alarmed by proposed 48% rent hike

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