The city of Honolulu will make more than 100 new affordable housing rental units available for low-income Hawaiians, drawing on funding from this year’s city council budget.
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Units will be located at the 172,036-square-foot Waikiki Vista building, which is located on Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu’s Moiliili neighborhood.
“It’s very exciting to start to see what was yesterday a dream, a vision, and maybe even a maybe, become a reality,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said during a press conference on Tuesday. “We saw an opportunity we just thought was too good to not make happen.”
There is a shortage of affordable rental homes available to extremely low-income households whose incomes are at or below the poverty guideline, or 30% of their area median income throughout Hawaii, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). The NLIHC reports a shortage of 23,492 affordable rental homes available for extremely low income renters in the state.
Honolulu’s Department of Community Services plans to contract the rehabilitation and renovation of the 19-floor Waikiki Vista building’s residential portion through a development agreement with an affordable housing developer, who will then rent units to eligible individuals who are earning 60% or below the area’s median income.
The city acquired the building for $37.75 million. Oahu faces an estimated shortage of 22,000 housing units over the next 3 years.
“We are step by step achieving our goal of that 22,000 units that we need here in the state of Hawaii,” Honolulu City Councilmember Calvin Say said.
The building is in close proximity to public transportation, as well as retail and recreational centers, Say said.
“We’re on the bus route for the general public at large,” Say said. “We’re close to Ala Moana Shopping Center. We’re close to the Ala Wai Golf Course [for] those families that want to go and golf. We have all the amenities here which will make it very much a desired project for a lot of our local residents.”