Honokowai Kauhale on Maui

BY JIM DOOLEY – A private Mainland-based company is conducting the “compliance audit” of a Maui public housing project plagued by chronic vacancies and overdue repair work.

Honokowai Kauhale on Maui

Karen Seddon, executive director of the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., said the audit is being performed by Spectrum Enterprises, which is already under contract to the agency to provide housing analysis services.

The company is headquartered in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Karen Seddon

Seddon declined to comment on a statement Wednesday by Maui legislator Angus McKelvey that HHFDC wants rents lowered and vacant units filled within 30 days at Honokokowai Kauhale, where some 71 units have been vacant for months and years.

McKelvey, D-10th (Lahaina, Kaanapali, Kapalua, Maalaea, Kihei), said he and state Sen. Roz Baker, D-5th (West Maui) “are pushing for a speedy resolution” of problems at the 184-unit affordable housing project.

“We want the (management) contract to be declared null and void but the investigation has to be completed first,” he said.

Seddon said her agency, which owns nine affordable housing facilities around the state, has met with Realty Laua, the company which holds a $1.75 million, three-year contract to manage Honokowai Kauhale.

She said she couldn’t speak about results of those talks or about McKelvey’s statement about cancellation of the contract.

Realty Laua has not returned telephoned requests for comment from Hawaii Reporter.

HHFDC spokesman Kent Miyasaki said representatives from Spectrum Enterprises did “meet with Realty Laua to discuss lowering rents” at the project.

According to rental application forms, new tenants are now charged $1,000 to $1,500 per month, depending on the size of the unit.

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Jim Dooley joined the Hawaii Reporter staff as an investigative reporter in October 2010. Before that, he has worked as a print and television reporter in Hawaii since 1973, beginning as a wire service reporter with United Press International. He joined Honolulu Advertiser in 1974, working as general assignment and City Hall reporter until 1978. In 1978, he moved to full-time investigative reporting in for The Advertiser; he joined KITV news in 1996 as investigative reporter. Jim returned to Advertiser 2001, working as investigative reporter and court reporter until 2010. Reach him at Jim@hawaiireporter.com

5 COMMENTS

  1. Eh, Honokowai Kauhale, check out all the HHFDC monthly meetings…Robert Faleafine is at every meeting.
    Seddon saying they have met with Realty Laua doesn’t mean anything to me. Come on Spectrum there are
    problems. This not juct a slap on the hand scolding! The manager has been doing bad stuff!

  2. Honokowai Kauhalers lets HOLLER! keep writing to Gov. Abercrombie, McKelvey, Baker, Cochran! The auditor from Spectrum is the same one Lisa has worked with in the past years! What exactly is this “compliance audit’
    and how come HHFDC not say in print what exactly the rent is supposed to be? Lisa’s been adjusting rent without explanation or notice to some tenants with the weak explanation of maintenance expenses! eh?
    P.S. Lisa where you hiding all the refrigerators you moved Friday in that big truck?

  3. Sounds like Seddon might be trying to cover some stuff up. Heard she has no problem intimidating people and blaming others others when things go wrong. According to a friend she screwed a young developer too because she didn’t like him. Knowing all of this I am positive there is much more to this story that Dooley can uncover. In fact I would bet a million bucks that there are many other stories waiting to be written about this office.

  4. Spectrum Enterprises is now on property. Are we looking at all of the Safety Issues that Honokowai Kauhale has?. Are we inspecting all of those empty unused units?. Are those felons still driving that Green gas operating Polaris around? I thought you guys hid it from them the last site inspection was done?. Make sure you took all of of your personal items out of those 3 units.

  5. These people are really scrambling..Realty Laua is trying to fix this situation but it is a little to late
    there is no such thing as better late than never it doesn’t exist…Judgement Day Will Come

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