'More ghetto’: Maili residents turn out to protest 52-unit affordable housing project

'More ghetto’: Maili residents turn out to protest 52-unit affordable housing project
Some residents have voiced their opposition to Hale Makana O Maili. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

MAILI, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Maili residents who opposed an affordable housing project in their neighborhood turned out in force at the City Council on Wednesday.

The council’s budget added $1 million for road repairs leading to Hale Makana O Maili, an affordable apartment complex by a private developer.

Neighbors wanted the roads improved, but say they’re against so many affordable housing projects in their neighborhood.

“When you put ghetto with ghetto, you get more ghetto. And when I was in the third grade, this was not a ghetto. Because you people put all these low income projects all together, it became a ghetto,” Maili resident Lily Cabinatan said.

Adding to their concerns, residents feared the infrastructure of their neighborhood wouldn’t be able to handle the added congestion.

“It’s not like we don’t have open hearts or we don’t want affordable housing. It needs to be responsible development,” neighbor Michele Kuahine told Hawaii News Now at the end of May.

After nearly four years of planning and approvals, the 52-unit project is expected to break ground later this year. Developers say it’s needed to help with homelessness, especially on the Leeward side.

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