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City and housing buyer agree to keep talking

    City Managing Director Ember Shinn and Mayor Kirk Caldwell discussed a proposed resolution by the City Council to rescind the Hono­lulu Affordable Housing Preservation Initiative at a news conference Monday.

The administration of Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the partners of a group that committed to buy the lease interest in 12 city affordable housing complexes for $142 million have agreed to keep talking, the mayor’s office said late Monday.

City officials had given Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners LLC until end of business Monday to say if it was still interested in, and able to, complete a deal by a scheduled March 31 deadline.

After receiving a written response from the buyer Monday, city Managing Director Ember Shinn wrote back agreeing to the partners’ wish to extend a Dec. 31 deadline to give financial assurances that it could complete the deal by March 31.

"We believe this is the in the best interests of the city and the tenants affected by this transaction to move forward with (the buyers) as expeditiously as possible," Shinn said in an email sent to all nine Council members today.

"At this point, we do not have specific terms that can be revealed, and the City intends to meet with the HAHP principals this week to hammer out the details.," Shinn said. "We will keep you informed as the situation develops."

Administration officials said that the cancellation of the sale would have large ramifications on the city, including a $20 million hole in the current year’s $2 billion operating budget.

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