Rents Up and Down at State-Owned Maui Housing Complex

26
2313
Honokowai Kauhale on Maui
Honokowai Kauhale on Maui

BY JIM DOOLEY – Rents for new tenants are lower at the state’s Honokowai Kauhale affordable housing project on Maui but they’re higher for longer-term occupants, the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. said this afternoon.

A news story yesterday in Hawaii Reporter said residents who moved into the 184-unit complex before November 2008 recently received certified notifications that their rents would rise next month.

The letters were sent by property manager Lisa Faleafine and came after HHFDC executive director Karen Seddon said rents would be lowered to cure the facility’s extremely high vacancy rate.

In an email message today, Seddon said HHFDC “did not approve the letter signed by the resident manager” but did approve “rent increases, ranging from 1 to 3 percent, for tenants who occupied their units prior to

Mold-coated stairway at Honokowai Kauhale

November 2008.”

Honokowai Kauhale now has “three rent tiers” for different groups of tenants, Seddon said.

“It is not uncommon for affordable housing developments to have multiple layers of rent structures,” said Seddon. Differing rents are caused by “restrictions embedded within the various programs we operate under,” she said.

Rents now range from a low of $775 per month for a one-bedroom one-bath unit to a high of $1,400 for a three-bedroom two-bath apartment, according to Seddon.

In establishing rents, she said, “HHFDC strives to strike a balance between the needs of lower and moderate-

Karen Seddon

income households, program restrictions and the economic realities constraining any multifamily property owner.”

As of last month, some 40 per cent of the apartments at Honokowai Kauhale were vacant.
HHFDC spokesman Kent Miyasaki said 37 of the vacant units were ready for occupancy and 32 were in need of repair.

Former project maintenance supervisor Glenn Ishikawa put the total umber of vacancies at 71 and provided paperwork showing that a few of the apartments had been unoccupied for more than five years and 49 had been vacant for more than a year.

Filling those vacancies would have generated enough income to cover the $583,752 annual fee paid by the state to Faleafine’s firm to manage Honokowai Kauhale.

Comments

comments

Previous articlePritchett’s Pen: More is not enough
Next articleFormer Hawaii State Senator, John S. Carroll, to Run for U.S. Senate
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

26 COMMENTS

  1. I took a quick drive out to honokowai yesterday. What I saw was a aging project in need of repairs like any other one its age but what made it worse was the little stuff that management can take care of to make it look better. The mold/dirt on the buildings looks bad but I am pretty sure that a good power wash and a little bleech would make it look much better. The landscaping needs to be kept better. Both of these things should be basic stuff realty luau should be taking care of. And being that they aren’t how come the state can’t figure this out? I did this with a 5 minute walk on the property. Mr. Dooley doesnt Churchill give her findings to the state and if she does what does it say and what does the state do about it?

    It is a shame because I think the project could be pretty nice if fixed up.

  2. Murray!…Thank you for dropping by and taking a good look at this slum. Just 5 minutes huh?. I assure you if you took a tour of the entire property, you will see what we are all talking about. Go ahead and take pictures of this slum. You will see the open units and molds and rotten stairs and panels that’s still there. It’s embarrasing to live here. But of course when you enter especially where the office is the landscaping there is alway well kept. It has to be tha;s where Lisa and her live in boyfriend Kepa lives. Along withtheir privledged friends and family congregate. Not to mention the private storage units that is all in her area for easy access. Mind you one of it is a Handicap unit. Where are the felons? on a vacation? my goodness they already qualify for vacation hours I’m sure. The State and Seddon will not do anything unless the tenants seek lawyers and have them move their asses. We are in for a big fight. We refuse to have you do this to us MAUI people. After you get caught you will have no other island to abuse and misuse of monies. And Seddon you need to be fired! There are so many more qualified ED out there that can do a better job than what you are doing and perhaps honest!. I’m discusted with you all ready! Abercrombie needs to clean house and fire all of those people managing HHFDC. Your names and position are corrupted, we need new and honest people running it. Seddon all you doing is hiding from the truth and expect the tenants to just keep quite and deal with it!..For you information we are not sitting quiet, we will fight to the bitter end !

  3. Lnanakila I just had to take a look for myself plus I had to meet some friends visiting from the mainland. 5 minutes was enough for me to see what I could see from the outside and like I said earlier it could really look a lot better with realty luau doing a couple of little things that I don’t think would cost so much money. Does it need work? It definitely does but it is nothing compared to the Kahelili project a couple of blocks from my house. Now this place is a slum and the people who live their live like pigs. I guess it doesn’t help that the state doesn’t do anything to make them want make it a better place with the mess it is in.

    As fpr Honokowai I hope the state does something for the people there. At least they have jobs unlike the bums at Kahekili.

  4. This is all pretty sad……….what the hell is that, increase in the rates for the one’s that are already grandfathered in from the NEW monthly rents!!!! Ok, it’s been all of us grandfathered in OLD SCHOOL TENANTS are the ones that is keeping the property going since no one new wants to live in this slum. So who else is the STATE going to screw….US OLD SCHOOL TENANTS!!! How else are they going to get their money….US OLD SCHOOL TENANTS. So what are they going to do about this, probably, decrease the new rates for the newer tenants and increase the ones that was already grandfathered in from those higher monthly rents. We whom live in this state owned project is suffering due to the bad management of the Faleafine Clan and the State runned HHFDC, Seddon and all her clan!!! What will it take to make everyone wake up and let’s see some action.??? Seriously, what will it take. Here’s what it will take, A BIG FAT LAWSUIT. I encourage any of us out there, if you still have holes in your unit, and you think you and your family is being exposed to MOLD/MILDEW, contact the better business bureau, or the HEALTH DEPARTMENT!!! I’m sure the Health Department will have a field day with this or if anyone else knows where we should all start, please comment and advise us on this matter. There is a lady who just won a huge settlement/lawsuit. She sued the BIG RESORT right here in Lahaina since she was exposed to MOLD/MILDEW in this Big Resort. You’d be amazed what what resort this is!!! So, since the state loves to throw away our hard earned tax dollars on crappy management and crappy state officials whom loves to sit behind the desk and NOT do crap about our living conditions, then so be, to court we must go. Or what about exposing them on ACTION LINE.???? I would love to be that one person whom hires an attorney and sue the pants off these state officials and Realty Laua.!!! We all must stand together on this matter. We all must fight, keep the comments going, keep our head up, there’s no reason for us to hide any longer. We have not done wrong, it’s the REALTY LAUA AND THE HHFDC that has committed the crime not us tenants. In due time all, in due time.

    • If you all really want to change things here, it’s time for you to email or call Rep. McKelvey AND Roz Baker! The more complaints, the better! They haven’t received enough to take us seriously! So DO IT! Take a real stand! Reading that McKelvey wanted to lower rent was great but having to drive to the post office to pick up my certified RENT INCREASE is pretty crappy! They’ve raised rent on us what??? 3 times in the last few years and then WHAM! Here we go again! Lower it for people to move in and raise it so the current tenants want to vacate! Brava Karen Seddon, Brava! You sure are a breathe of fresh…crap! Just remember…what goes around, comes around. Sitting outside every night on the beautiful grassy lawn with people that you really can’t stand but you need the support so you’ll act like you really like them, will end someday. And for those of you that hang with them to show your allience…they’ve talked crap about ALL of YOU! EVERY SINGLE ONE! Behind your backs! Snickering at your stupidities! One day you’ll know. That is for sure!

  5. That’s right Survivor!..That’s just one way of Lisa’s tactics of showing that she has people/Tenants on her side, again that means NADA’s..That really don’t scare us?. She’s gonna be gone, and all of her compadre’s are too. So! go and have your congregations everynight and everyday we give you that. But be prepared to be a stepping. It’s just a show for now but it’s coming! So no act like you’re not scared because, when your’e in your cubby hole office with the blinds closed and doors locked we know your are pinching ass!. Oh and how dare you take all of the credit of activities here at HK-you did nothing to contribute the tenants and children here, but your own self gain. We know that Glenn and Diane donated their own money for the children of HK, and you take all the credit. You think all of that bottles and cans you are recycling is paying for all of those stuff? that’s BULL SHET!….What else are you taking from us? I can only imagine. So all of you supporters of the FALEFINES, someday you will know how much they are taking advantage of you whether you live on this property or outsiders as well. Remember this is a small community, and everyone knows everybody here. So Lisa we are kicking you to the curb and sending you back to return to sender for good!. You are not welcome to MAUI no more. Asta Lavista Baby!

  6. Hey Mr. Dooley, thanks for bringing all this to light, but tell us what’s happening now. Yah, you can all tell Lisa is the manager from Hell and she’s proud of it. But Mr Dooley can you tell us what the people in the State government is gonna do? It all goes back to the contract signed by the State…you know its a big mistake! Are you (State) gonna fix it now?!

  7. Hey did anyone hear what the report says? I wonder if the state will ever share it or just share the stuff they want to. Mr. Dooley you should call Kent Miyasaki maybe he will have another no comment or just not call you back or maybe he is locked in one of the vacant units so he can’t say anything. You should go to the top and ask seddon because didn’t she say it would be done last week? Has anyone called the governors office or legal aid or rep Baker. I know she would back us Mauians up big time. And where is McKelvey? He made all kinds of noise and never followed up maybe he doesn’t care. Nah he probably got busy. I have faith in him that he will get this thing moving with rep Baker.

  8. Hey! I just found out Iokepa and Genghis didn’t show up for work the week of 9/19/11 thru 9/23/11. Hmm, that’s pretty good considering the fact that both of them haven’t made one full year of employment yet. So Lisa, are you giving your other 3 employees the same privileges, too? And the other days when Iokepa and Genghis take off, are you using their sick leave? Or maybe Iokepa being your live-in boyfriend and Genghis being his close friend for those “no-show” days and those “6” hour “work” days you’re filling out the payroll sheets as full 8 hour work days for them so you don’t have to make any explanations…because YOU can. Besides Lisa, YOU need a FULL paycheck.

  9. COME ON! LAWMAKERS LETS SEE SOME ACTION HERE AND SOON!….I DONT WANT TO PAY THAT INCREASE BY NOVEMBER 01, 2011. THIS IS EXTORTION!…WE NEED ANSWERS AND WE NEED IT NOW!..THESE FELONS ARE STILL DRIVING AROUND WITH ARROGANCE AND WITH THE FORCE OF THE FALEAFINE’S ENFORCMENT PROTENTION.

    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!…WE ARE DYING HERE!…NOTHINGS BEING DONE WITH THE MOLD AND EMPTY UNITS, WHAT IS THE OUTCOME OF THE AUDIT….AND THE RETALIATION CONTINUES WITH DRIVE BY’S FLICKING THE BIRDS STARE DOWNS, SMIRKING. HAVING TO GET OVER EVERY WEEK IS A FEELING OF CHEST PAINS, NO APPETITE, LACK OF SLEEP, AND ANTICIPATION OF WAITING ON WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN TO US INNOCENT TENANTS. WE CONTINUE TO FAITHFULLY PAY OUR RENT ON TIME, AND NOTHING IS HAPPENING TO ENSURE US THAT WE ARE BEING HEARD!…DOOLEY PLEASE PUSH THESE GUYS WITH SOME ANSWERS!.

    • LANAKILA…Yes, I agree with you, LAWMAKERS What is the deal here???? Where the hell are our answers?? What did the report say!!! Let’s see some action. This is bull$h#t!!! How longer more do we have to live this EVIL manager that is vendictive and manipulating?? All we ask for is answer now and see some improvements without this management team. Come on Mr. Dooley, push harder!!!

  10. It is the end of the month and still no report or even a word from the state on what they are going to do. Sorry to some of you I forgot they did send rent increase letters. Do you know if they have filled any of the empty units? Have they fixed any of the units? I figure by the comments from some of you that the same management is still there and working? The legislatures are still silent. Does that mean they aren’t getting anywhere too? Someone should take pictures and show them to the legislatures and the governor!

Comments are closed.