First private-public housing partnership breaks ground - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

First private-public housing partnership breaks ground

By Oscar Valenzuela - bio | email

KALIHI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii Public Housing Authority says they have taken a leap of faith, jumping into the first private-public housing partnership in the state of Hawaii. It's a $135 million dollar effort to revitalize one of Oahu's worst housing areas, that began Thursday.

A new day began a ceremonial blessing for the Kuhio Park Terrace in Kalihi more commonly known as KPT. It is the largest existing public housing complex in the state of Hawaii and what some might say an equally sized bad reputation.

Negativity from years of violent crimes, unkept grounds and malfunctioning elevators.

But change has come to KPT. Guests and residents were invited to the unveiling of a new partnership, new management and even a new name, the Towers at Kuhio Park.

Residents like Tricille Otineru who has lived here for decades and like many of her neighbors are hoping that this time around things really do get fixed. She says, "because it's only been so long that people only hear, you know, we're going to change' but it never does happen."

But one resident, who didn't want her face to be shown says it won't matter how nice the renovations are if the residents themselves don't take a personal stake in the buildings upkeep." For me it's like, it's the people who live here itself they should take pride in the place where they live - for me it's take your part as a community who lives here appreciate the place." She takes it upon herself to keep things tidy not only in her home but also in her towers common areas but she points out much like this abandoned trash bag, the problem won't take care of itself.

The new management says they also will not just sit there. The project will be providing 100 jobs for local construction workers. The entire renovation should be completed by December 31, 2012.

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