Plantation Subdivisions a Possible Option for Del Monte Workers

Plantation home in Kunia.
Plantation home in Kunia.
Del Monte pineapple harvested in Kunia.
Del Monte pineapple harvested in Kunia.

(KHNL)  Folks don't lock their doors at plantation camps in Poamoho or Kunia, because you don't shut-out your neighbors.

"The neighbors are great," said Poamoho resident Boyd Isnec.

"The whole community get together, work together as a community, take care of the place like one family," he said.

But with plantations shutting down, workers who live at the camps face uncertain futures.

"People was kind of losing their homes and if could get the homes, if it was going to be affordable," Isnec said.

Kunia is the latest, with Del Monte planning to pull out in 2008. Workers hope they won't be left scrambling for housing options like residents at other plantations.

"It's very saddening to see the plantation fall.  Hopefully Kunia doesn't have that same effect," said Kunia resident Brandon Bajo-Daneil.

The Honolulu City Council may intervene by approving a system of plantation subdivisions that would allow residents to form housing cooperatives and buy their homes.

If this measure passes, these new plantation subdivisions would not have to meet many modern standards, such as having sidewalks or city approved roads. The City Council said residents should be allowed to use their money to pay for their homes, and not these kinds of improvements.

"I definitely think it's close to being extinct," said Councilman Donovan Dela Cruz. "So if we don't pass this, we're in danger of losing three communities that represent our history and our past."