City's new housing project in Makiki opens, but not without a little controversy

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The city unveiled its new housing project for homeless families in Makiki on Monday -- and heard some concerns from neighboring residents along the way.

The city invested more than $12 million in the former Loveland Academy site, which will provide transitional housing for more than 40 families.

But some neighbors are worried about crime and noise.

"Hi, I have your guarantee that this is not going to ruin our neighborhood right?" longtime Makiki resident Tracey Teanio asked Mayor Kirk Caldwell after Monday's unveiling. "The people you're putting in aren't alcoholics, crackheads and heroin addicts because this is the school route to both schools."

Caldwell said the Piikoi street project will be monitored by a resident manager, who will be on site 24 hours a day.

He said the city has already set up a community advisory committee to address neighbor's concerns about crime and noise.

"We understand people get worried when we're talking about bringing homeless into any community. And it's incumbent on us, the city and housing solutions to address those concerns and as people move into the facility that the problems do not occur," Caldwell said.

While the project targets people who had been homeless in the past, the city noted that many of the tenants at the new 42-unit project will include working class families, and not just people fresh off the streets.

Rents start at $800 a month for studios to $1,306  for a three-bedroom unit.

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