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City picks firm to buy, manage 12 affordable housing complexes


The city has selected Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC to buy and manage its 12 affordable housing complexes to relieve the city of more than $6 million in annual management costs.

Mayor Peter Carlisle announced the agreement today at a news conference in his office.

Details, including the purchase price, are being negotiated and a final agreement is expected by the end of next month. The agreement is subject to City Council approval. Under the bidding guidelines, the buyer must agree to lease the land from the city for 65 years and keep all units as affordable housing for the duration of the lease.

City officials, in meetings held last year at each of the complexes, have warned city housing project tenants of probable rent increases if a private owner takes over.

The new owners said they will work with tenants as remodeling and renovations move forward and no residents will be displaced during the process. They expect to spend about $30,000 per unit.

Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners is comprised of Highland Property Development LLC of Auburn, Calif.; Richard Gushman of Honolulu, who has over 40 years of real estate experience in Hawaii and on the mainland; and Stephen Gelber, a Honolulu real estate and tax attorney.

The 12 complexes include 850 apartment units that qualify under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development guidelines for low- and moderate-income households with incomes of 80 percent or less of the median; 189 “gap group” apartments for families with incomes of 80 percent to 120 percent of the median; and 218 market-rate rental units, according to the city.

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