Man risks life for cheap rent - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Man risks life for cheap rent

William Weeks William Weeks

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - He's risking his life for cheap rent. An Oahu man who lived in the Kalihi home that collapsed, talks about the terrible living conditions.

That make-shift home on Gulick Avenue came crumbling down about a week ago. Around 50 people lived there including William Weeks.

He nearly died when he fell through the home, just days before it collapsed. That fall put him in the hospital but could have saved his life.

Weeks shares his story as part of our series on "Toughing It Out."

Looking at it from the inside and the outside, Weeks knew from the start, it was a bad situation.

"You had metal that was starting to "S" shape like this and bend and tweak," he said. "The collars were starting to pop loose, so I know there was going to be trouble pretty quick."

He lived in the home for nine months. He braved the terrible conditions because the monthly rent for him was only 200 dollars.

"The problem with it, was is it's all tarps and so a lot of water was getting in," he said.

But as months moved along, so did the home as it began to deteriorate.

"During the night, I had slid through it while I was asleep and ended up falling to the first floor from the second floor on rocks," he said.

That was just a few days before the home collapsed. He fractured his skull in that fall.

It also broke his spirit and hope in finding another home that won't break down like the last one.

"Why these building inspectors kept letting this slide and slide and slide, I mean there was complaint after complaint and nobody was doing anything," he said.

Weeks does see a silver lining to being in the hospital. It could've been a lot worse if he had been in the home when it collapsed.

Weeks has hired an attorney. He wants the landlord to pay for his medical bills. He says he'll be at The Queen's Hospital for at least another week.

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