City outlines ambitious plan to build 1,000 affordable units
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced plans Tuesday for six affordable projects spread across the island that are slated to add nearly 1,000 units to Oahu’s inventory over the next five years.
“I operate with a sense of urgency, as does our whole team,” Blangiardi said.
“We want to get as much happening as we possibly can and we feel really confident about our ability to do so.”
In addition to Aiea, plans are in the works for complexes in Waialua, McCully, Halawa, Kailua, and Chinatown.
The projects are partly funded through grants from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund.
Typically, this kind of development can take close to nine years, but the city is planning to cut that time in half.
“For the island of Oahu, we’re integrating six projects today that are gonna start and be done within five years,” said city director of community services Anton Krucky.
“Some will be done within one and two years, so we’re really hitting the road running.”
That’s welcome news for lifelong Aiea resident Claire Tamamoto, who wants to see the area become vibrant again.
“We have older kupunas that live all over the state,” Tamamoto said.
“We’re not getting any younger. There’s not any more affordable housing for them and a lot of times they end up on the street, so that’s not a thing to do when they’ve given back to their communities for so long.”
In addition to Tuesday’s announcement, the city is planning to expand its efforts for more affordable development. “A moment like this right now, we still have to see things come to fruition, is very gratifying,” Blangiardi said. “But as I said earlier, we need to do a lot more to address housing needs.”
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