Vacant Units Become Affordable Rentals - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vacant Units Become Affordable Rentals

Anna Kuresa Anna Kuresa

By Beth Hillyer

KALIHI (KHNL) - More than one hundred units at Kalihi Valley Homes have gone empty for years, but all that is about to change.

The state is getting ready to fix them up and rent them out.

The units at Kalihi Valley Homes are boarded up, many with broken windows. Scheduled for demolition since 1999, they are getting a second life given Oahu's affordable housing shortage.

KVH resident Anna Kuresa feels for the homeless, "My heart goes to the homeless. Me my husband when we see people that have no place to stay and we have lot places around here."

Instead of tearing them down, residents voted to repair them. 114 units are vacant but by next year 92 should be available.

Chad Taniguchi director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority explains,

"The staff has been working hard to get all of these projects ready to go.The maintenance staff has been doing repairs they can do easily ."

Some were remodeled but that's not the priority according to Taniguchi, "The commitment we have is to make them all livable again. Our priority is safe housing, decent housing, affordable housing."

Selfless residents sacrifice their park space so others may have a roof over their heads.

Kuresa concludes "My hope is someday that all these units that are empty should be filled with the people standing out there. My heart goes to those people."

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