State Outlines Next Step to Transform Mayor Wright Homes into Future Mixed Income Residences

Gov. Neil Abercrombie
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Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Gov. Neil Abercrombie

HONOLULU — The Hawaii Public Housing Authority (HPHA) today issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) seeking a Master Developer for the future mixed income redevelopment of Mayor Wright Homes (MWH).“This announcement is a starting point in the journey to redevelop and improve the lives of residents that live at one of the oldest and largest low-income public housing properties in the HPHA portfolio,” HPHA Executive Director Hakim Ouansafi said.

“This RFQ will catalyze public and private investment to create a vibrant mixed income community, will be consistent with Downtown Transit Oriented Development (TOD) objectives, and increase affordable rental housing options in our state.”


MWH is a federal low-income public housing development that has been in use for more than 60 years. It was built in 1953 and modernized in 1984. With inadequate state and federal funds available to address its capital needs, the mixed-income, mixed-finance, mixed-use model will provide the additional capital necessary to truly revitalize the site and surrounding neighborhood.

“This RFQ delivers on a promise to continue to reinvest in this community,” Gov. Neil Abercrombie said. “Under Hakim’s leadership, the state has aggressively addressed repair backlogs in public housing projects, and security has greatly improved. We are moving forward on long-term improvements that will have a lasting, beneficial impact to families and the community.”

Other requirements needed to be met in the selection of a Master Developer are: one-for-one replacement of existing public housing units, high-quality designs and construction that incorporate energy conservation and green practices in a LEED-certifiable project, the ability to finance the project with private funding, incorporation of the surrounding neighborhood, and supporting the development of human capital with job opportunities for low-income public housing residents.

The HPHA is the sole public housing agency for the State of Hawaii, providing safe, sanitary and temporary housing to low-income families. The agency administers more than 6,000 federal and state low-income public housing units on five islands, and just under 2,000 rental assistance vouchers on Oahu.