By: Stephen Florino
KAPOLEI (KHNL) - Hawaii's home prices have skyrocketed, sending the dream of buying a house out of the reach of many. But Saturday, some took a step closer to owning their own home.
It kicks off the application process for the first of three affordable housing projects in Kapolei. When they're all completed, it'll add 476 affordable housing units, and fill a huge void.
This empty lot will soon fulfill the dreams of dozens of families. It's the site of a new, affordable housing project. Lesley Masumoto was first in line at 4:30 in the morning.
"I've always wanted to own my own home, for the last 61 years," said Masumoto. "so a few more hours wouldn't make a difference."
She is just one of more than 500 applying for the opportunity to move into one of the 118-units in Nohona at Kapolei. A lottery will determine the lucky families.
Since they're considered affordable, potential buyers must meet certain salary requirements. Still, the townhomes are expected to cost more than $300,000.
"All of our statistics show families need for sale housing opportunity in the $300,000 range," said Dan Davidson, executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation. "Especially if you consider the median income of housing right now is approximately $600,000."
But with a partnership with the state, the developer is able to offer these homes at a much lower price tag.
"That partnership reduces costs, and allows us to provide this affordable housing," said Bruce Barrett, of Castle and Cooke Hawaii. "Without this type of partnerships, we can't do it."
And fulfill the dreams of many hawaii families.
"I believe that I will win the lotto," said Masumoto.