By Brooks Baehr - bio | email
KAHUKU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Lifelong residents of Kahuku Village fear the company that owns the property may evict them at any time in order to make more money off the land. A couple dozen residents staged a protest along Kamehameha Highway in Kahuku Monday to express their concern.
Continental Pacific, a Florida based development company that buys and sells land for profit, bought Kahuku Village in 2006. There are 71 homes on the property. Everyone who lives there either worked at the old Kahuku sugar mill or someone in their family worked at the mill.
The Kahuku Village Association (KVA), a non-profit group made up of residents, managed the property. People at Monday's protest said they did not worry about eviction while KVA was in charge because they ran KVA.
But beginning Monday, August 1, KVA was replaced as the property manager. The new property manager is Elite Pacific Property. Elite Pacific has not raised rent, but it offered only month-to-month leases. Those short leases fuel speculation Continental Pacific will evict residents so it can do something more profitable with the land.
"They can give you 45 day notice within the month to let you know that you have to evict the area. You have to bust down your house. You don't have a guarantee that you'll be here," said Jim Camit, a lifelong Kahuku resident.
"Every night I go to bed and I got to think, oh, next week am I going to get a letter to tell me I have to evict in 45 days? You are never free," commented Doris Lagua, who has lived at Kahuku Village her whole life.
Residents said long term leases would give them peace of mind.
A press release from Continental Pacific quotes Elite Pacific property manager Rex Matsuo as saying, "I've begun to develop some great relationships with the residents over the past three months." That press release says nothing about resident's long term security.