Attorney builds on affordable housing idea

Tony Locricchio
Tony Locricchio

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

KAILUA (HawaiiNewsNow) - In Maunawili, attorney Tony Locricchio's backyard is a base yard for building with no blueprints.

"We collect the materials first and design the units around the materials," he said.

With the help of friends Locricchio is out to prove he can build homes for less than $5,000 apiece.

"We think we've stumbled on a way of affordable housing not just for the homeless, but for that huge percentage of our population that can't afford a home," he said.

Locricchio said the secret to saving money is in the building material. Ninety percent of his is re-used or surplus.

Walls for a house are $400 doors Locricchio got for $15 each. The recycled wood for the floor cost him fifty cents a foot.

"Most of it is still good stuff. You got to clean it up a little bit," volunteer carpenter Don Adams said.

Locricchio's property is stocked with sinks, appliances and windows he bought for bargain prices.

He will build five demonstration homes that he wants to show to the state, which faces a 30,000-unit affordable housing shortage.

The director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation entertains all kinds of ideas. But developers must meet certain specs.

"Provided that they bring us projects that comply with land use, zoning and building codes. We can't get away from that," Karen Seddon said.

Loocricchio thinks his houses will meet all requirements, plus save money on labor costs by using volunteer builders.

"The team would bring in members of families, friends and neighbors, who would earn credits on payment of land," he said

Locricchio also hopes to get the attention of officials at the APEC summit.

He said if Hawaii doesn't want his affordable housing idea, maybe another country will.

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