State Pays Steep Price Increase For New Maui Housing Contract

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Honokowai Kauhale
Honokowai Kauhale

BY JIM DOOLEY – The state will pay considerably more for property management services at a troubled Maui affordable housing project under a six-month non-bid contract that took effect last week, according to procurement records.

The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. will pay Hawaii Affordable Properties, Inc. $375,000 to oversee the 184-unit Honokowai Kauhale complex, according to a procurement form. The state would have paid some $247,000 for the same work under an earlier contract held by a competing firm, Realty Laua LLC.

HHFDC terminated Realty Laua October 17, informing the company that it was “not in compliance” with the terms of its contract, according to state records.

The new contract award to Hawaii Affordable Properties means the company is now managing eight of nine housing projects owned by HHFDC around the state. Realty Laua manages the ninth.

News stories published by Hawaii Reporter since August 22 revealed chronic vacancy and maintenance problems at Honokowai Kauhale, an affordable rental housing complex in the Kaanapali area of West Maui.

Nearly 40 per cent of the apartments at the complex have been vacant for lengthy periods of time – five years in some cases – and some residents reported that they felt intimidated by property manager Lisa Faleafine and her live-in boyfriend, state parolee Iokepa Auwae. Other residents later wrote letters of support for Faleafine and Auwae.

HHFDC said it was not aware of the problems at the project until Hawaii Reporter inquired about them.

In justifying the award of the sole-source contract to Hawaii Affordable Properties, HHFDC cited “a series of newspaper articles published from August 22, 2011 through October 4, 2011 (that) raised concerns from residents, former employees, and state legislators about the property management staff and site conditions” at Honokowai Kauhale.

After an audit was conducted at the housing project, HHFDC determined that Realty Laua “was not in compliance with its contract” and the company was given 10 days to cure deficiencies, according to the procurement notice.

Realty Laua “failed to provide a satisfactory cure” and its contract was cancelled October 17, said HHFDC.

Realty Laua president Robert Faleafine has not responded to repeated requests for comment. A message left with his office today was unreturned.

Karen Seddon

HHFDC executive director Karen Seddon has refused to release the compliance audit or the termination letter.

HHFDC said it intends to seek competitive bids for a Honokowai Kauhale property manager while the six-month interim contract to Hawaii Affordable Properties is in effect.

The award of the sole source contract was necessary because “management and maintenance staff need to be onsite daily at the housing complex to ensure proper care and maintenance of the project, and to ensure that vital services such as water, electricity, and sewage are not interrupted,” said HHFDC.

Staff turnover at HHFDC has complicated the procurement process, the agency said.

“One of two key staff members responsible for procuring and administering the property management contracts for all of HHFDC’s rental properties is no longer with the agency and the new Asset Manager now assuming the responsibility of procuring the new contract was only recently hired on September 1, 2011,” said HHFDC.

Comments

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22 COMMENTS

  1. Ok I hope this company is worth the money! Although it can’t be as bad as what was there before. But from what I have heard the state has still not shared with the residents what will be done and the timeframe it will take to get it done. Who are the statements from the state in the article from? Has Miyasaki now gone into hiding? Is he giving statements and asking Mr. Dooley not to quote him? And as for Seddon is she still hiding too? Why won’t she release the audit? Do you think that it might say she is to blame? Keep the pressure on Mr. Dooley. I think you may eventually flush out who the rat in all of this really is.

  2. Murray!..I was told that Miyasaki and another man is on property looking at these empty units. There are definately changes that are happening slowly on the property and in the main office. Tenants are being greeted by new management as they go in for signing of their new contracts, etc. They are hiring staff for maintenance and landcaping too. I hope the (2) mexican brothers go and re-apply, because from what I’m hearing that they are the hardworkers from when they got hired. There are also word that the past landscapers that left and wrongfully got fired from Lisa is coming back to apply. Slowly we are seeing units being filled up with families, and that really good to see the neighbor hood coming back to life. Landscaping is not quite coming back to life, The Aura and atmosphere here are slowly coming back to life, but the evilness of Lisa and her Posse is still there. Wow! our tax monies are really going to clean up this mess again but this time it’s really going to use the right way!..WTH happened to all of those money?..I’m sure it’ll surface soon! there are people that know who they are and will not get away from this consiracy of mis-using our tax money. You can hide for now but Dooley and others will be on your asses! The people deserve to know not only us tenants but all the hard working tax payers period!. So Karen Seddon, Miyasaki, Realty Laua, Robert, Lui, Lisa and all of you that had your hands in the cookie jar will be caught!…In due time. But this will never die until Justice is served. As far as the tenants are concerned rumors is that once they are gone there will be a meeting for the tenants of Honokowai Kauhale. We will prevail MAUI they can’t do this to us anymore!

  3. Were the “vacancies” all real vacancies or were people unofficially living in some of them and the rent cockaroached?

  4. Tenants are seeing Refrigerators being removed off property by Kepa’s father Richard and Genghis Kahewalu, hauling them into their personal trucks driven off property to perhaps a Rental space either in Honokowai or Lahaina. Just yesterday and couple of days before it was happening. How are they getting into the units to retrieve these refrigerators? I believe Realty Laua has something big on the State, that they are not telling us?
    We are told that Kepa Auwae’s parent that stayed in Unit 9C a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit moving out? People are talking that The Auwae’s have not been paying rent, all the time and they have been there rent free. Their unit could be easily put down as another empty unit? Who knows? No one will know except Lisa. She was responsible for all the paper work that’s why she worked alone with no one to question her job description. She had access everyone’s personal information. Word was that she used personal information to get people in trouble. So now that Kepa’s parents are moving out, it’s gotta be cause time to pay for the apartment now no free loading anymore, because the State is now tracking down on all the inventory of occupied and empty units.
    How can this Law Enforcement that we are told is not seeing this? And yet the tenants are clearly seeing it in broad day light? I thought they are told to return all keys? How are they getting into the units? One tenant clearly commented on The Hawaii Reporter’s website that they are entering units in the dark late at night removing things. How can they not know?
    How is it so clear that Lisa can modify her unit without getting any clearance thru the State?. It’s obvious that the tenants above her have no yard space. Lisa altered her unit by extending her storage area by encroaching on her neighbor’s property. Also hiring her boyfriend a convicted Felon to work the property with offenses that clearly is not permissible in any State Employment job.
    Who is it in the State that is honoring this to happen, and allowing Lisa and the Faleafine’s family who continues to rip off people, treats them like shet, and continue to destroy every Island they manages. If I were in their situation I will immediately be fired, prosecuted, and escorted off property by Federal and Government officials! No questions no ask! Done with it. But these people are handled very delicately and playing games with the State. Hmmmm Kinda makes you wonder? It clearly looks like someone is trying to protect themselves. As we now know that Lisa commented that she is not moving out! I believe she and the State is playing bluff games, she and Realty Laua have something on the State, and they are covering their asses.

  5. the state can sue them to recover money owed whether the illegal tenants was staying for free or paying somebody under the table. It’s been done with crooked apartment managers in the private sector I know involving the money that wasn’t turned in for parking stalls. A lot of apartments don’t get a stall with it and so tenants have to pay monthly for a stall and in the process a number of stalls are conveniently recorded as vacant even with somebody’s car in the parking stall every day of the year. How hard up the state is for cash today, the state better darn well chase after any sort of missing revenue that the management is liable for. To keep things in perspectives a lot of these scoundrels migrated from places where these practices are acceptable even expected and everything they touch gets screwed up as part of the ritual but traditionally they don’t care an iota. It’s not in the contents.

    Also, this kind bad news about affordable housing has a negative impact on the community because these essentially artificial units do reduce the overall demand for rentals on the market and rents drop. I guess what I mean is that scandals like this may well discourage the funding for more affordable housing units in the near future.

  6. OKAY! HHFDC LISA, KEPA, MAILE, GENGHIS IS STILL HERE! NOTHINGS BEING DONE TO PROTECT THE TENATS THAT ARE NOT SUPPORTING LISA AND HER CLAN!..WE THE TENANT THAT HAVE SUFFERED AND DEAL WITH THIS PLAYING THE BLUFF GAME FOR TOO LONG. WE HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE BUT TO SEEK A LAWYER TO REPRESENT US, GETTING THINGS DONE AND FINALLY CATCHING ALL OF YOU THATS TRYING TO PROTECT YOUR OWN ASS!..WE ARE NOT GOING TO DEAL WITH THIS ANYMORE. THEY CONTINUE TO HARRASS UN TENANTS HER WITH NOTHING BEING DONE. IT GOING ON 2 WEEKS NOW AND NO ONES EVEN GIVING A SHET. A CLASS ACTION SUET WILL BE THE ONLY ANSWER TO ALL OF THIS!…SO DAM TIRED DISGUSTED AND SO OVER THIS . ITS TIME TO LOOK OUT FOR OURSELVES!

  7. Wow Lanakila I thought they were all gone? What are those guys doing to intimidate folks? I thought the state was doing stuff to make honokowai better? Maybe you folks need to fly to Honolulu and march into the governors office and tell him live! And while you are there you can go and check seddon out. So the new management is not doing anything?

  8. Murray!. They have hired an Interim off property manager that comutes daily from Oahu, to clean up the mess in the office, trimming the trees on the property, sceduled to change all lock on our units and mailroom, BUT the main problem that should have been taken care of is still F____’__ here! How the hell can they work around these problem people from the get go!..get rid of them now!..They are harrassing the tenants here, doing drive by’s to certain indiviual tenants, roaming around the property like they still own it! this is so not well. They are seen by mant tenants here removing refrigerators heven knwos from where? empty units? OMG! they still supposetly have master keys or perhaps made copies since Kepas sister Maile works for ALOHA KEYS in Sears? She definatelty has some contribution to that no doubt!. She is now a tenant in building 23 facing the maintenance storage room. She I was told attacked one of the tenants on property, has police come to make a report, and nothings happening to have them removed! I believe they are pressuring the tenants to dare HHDFC or Seddon to do something to so they can get lawyers involved, but on the Tenants expense again! this is unbelievable. Look what the hell you guys did I blame it all on the State and Mainly HHFDC Karen Seddon! Why is she not taking control of this situation head on, I though she was a hard ass person that won’t have it?..Now it clearly shows that she is afraid that she is gonna be exposed having to be involved with this big scam!..There is no other alternative to making conclusions on whats happening!. The only way to flush these guys out is LITIGATION! CLASS ACTION SUET period! that way we are protected, the rats are running out from hiding and we the Tenants are protected and get JUSTICE!…Im tired already

  9. Mauians it sounds like things are getting better but I have to ask why the state has not gotten rid of Lisa and her people? Any person with a brain would think that it would be the first thing done! The second thing you would think they would do is change all of the locks if what Lanakila says is true. Anyone know if and how many of the vacant units have been rented? If the state has any respect for us mauians they would have sent someone with decision making powers to meet with residents and explain to them what to expect moving forward.

  10. Lanakila, I can understand that they are trying their best, but! having Lisa and her people still here raises questions on the State. For the life of me I believe that Lisa and perhaps Realty Laua is told by their Lawyer to stay put!. Have the State physically yank her out!. Just to stir up troubles, or just mocking Karen Seddon so she gets a taste of what it’s like to feel like she is pinching ass!. It sure looks like Karen Seddon and Realty Laua knew and work together on this scam for years now, and now that their caught, Lets see who is gonna rat eacthother out! When it’s push to shove time they are gonna try their best to save their ass first!. …According to tenants I believe they have filled up about 5-6 units so far. Yes! and they still didn’t send anyone from the State to call a tenant meeting to inform us on whats happening. It’s really sad that we have to find out from what other people are talking. Day by day, week by week month by month and the main problem is still here!…Hard to move on and get things done in the right direction.

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