Hundreds of Windward Oahu Residents will Lose Homes

Paul Drewes speaks with families forced to move out.
Paul Drewes speaks with families forced to move out.
Affordable housing in Kailua, Oahu.
Affordable housing in Kailua, Oahu.

(KHNL) It is no surprise that affordable housing is difficult if not impossible to find on Oahu.

Now hundreds of people living in affordable housing in Kailua will soon be losing their homes. And for many , that means they may have to move away just to make ends meet.

The old apartments along Kailua road are in need of new paint, walkways and carpet. But the residents who live there need something more.

"Everyone here needs someone to call them with two bedroom apartments for rent for 700 dollars," says Lee Tasaki, who has lived at the Kailua Arms apartments for over 5 years.

The reason over a hundred families are in need of affordable housing is because they are being forced to move out.

"We're paying 650 dollars for 2-bedrooms, its outragous, we have looked at places that are 12-13 hundred , so it is going to be double!" says Robert Palama , who has lived at the Kailua Arms apartments for the past two years.

An E.P.A. decree over cesspools at four of these complexes states all units will have to be vacated by September of 2007.

Already a number of units are vacant, but that has led to more problems, according to those who live there. They say people are breaking in, not to steal things but just for a place to sleep Many worry this eviction will send even more people to the streets.

"There's a lot of people that are going to become homeless cause they can't afford to live anywhere," says Robert Thompson.

For those that don't end up on the street, many will be forced to leave Kailua to find affordable housing. But while some families will be headed out of town, according to the future developer, who would like to put in condos, other families could be coming in.

"We've gotten a lot of calls from people who want to move out of their homes and into something smaller and stay in Kailua, or we've heard from others who moved away and want to come back," states Mike Jones with D.R. Horton.

According to Jones, there are no future plans for low income housing, just plans for market priced condos, once a sewer line goes in along Kailua Road. He adds that the only reason the Kailua apartments are affordable now, is because they are so run-down.