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New houses for the homeless delivered to site in Waianae

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    Hawaii Modular Space delivered three units to the homeless transitional housing project at 86-537 Halona Road in Waianae on Tuesday.

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

    The site of the homes on the right, behind the screens viewed from the street.

Crews on Tuesday began installing three modular housing units in Waianae for working homeless individuals and homeless families with children.

A one-bedroom unit compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and two two-bedroom units are on a 7,500-square-foot, city-owned property at 86-537 Halona Road once used for recovering substance abusers. The modular, or compact, units delivered Tuesday measure about 500 square feet, each containing a kitchen and bathroom facilities. The city contracted with Hawaii Modular Space to build the units at a cost of about $109,000 each.

The project is not considered an emergency or transitional shelter. The goal is to relocate homeless squatters from parks and other public areas into permanent housing.

Site work, contracted with Ideal Construction Inc., cost about $425,000 and included clearing overgrowth, removing asbestos from the existing dilapidated structure and demolishing the building, according to the city.

City officials expect additional site work, including leveling the units and landscaping, to be completed next month and for tenants to move in by the end of October.

City spokesman Jesse Broder Van Dyke said in an email Tuesday that city officials have been updating and sending letters to neighbors about the project. He said the city Department of Community Services is working to secure a property manager.

The project, presented to the Waianae Coast Neighborhood Board last year, has drawn criticism from some community members who cited concerns about the size of the site, potential effects on property values, and whether tenants would be screened and monitored to ensure neighborhood safety.

But George Keliikoa, whose house is adjacent to the site, said he does not mind living next to the modular housing.

“It (property) looks better. They all need a home,” said Keliikoa, who has rented his home for five years. “I can’t speak for everybody. I just speak for myself.”

Faye Crabbe, who lives across the street from the property, agreed. “It’s a good thing,” she said. “I can’t wait for the neighbors to move in.”

Another modular housing project — slated for a 1.1-acre Farrington Highway site near Waianae High School — is planned to accommodate 75 to 90 homeless people. The city has said it is working with community members to develop a conceptual plan.

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  • Beautiful. The people of the West side open their hearts. Only in Waianae can an impacted neighbor say ” It’s a good thing.” “Everyone needs a Home”. Mahalo to you. Now if we can spread that Godly compassion around the island. Long live the Aloha spirit.

    • For the $425,000 tax bill they shoved down our throat out to build 3 modular homes to house only 3 homeless people they could have housed 425 homeless people or more if you count families if they would have bought each one of them a free-and-clear simple-fee deed to existing uninhabited homes in Detroit Michigan at $1,000 each. Very very cost inefficient use of funds and resources if you ask me. In the end these 3 homeless will STILL remain homeless when they get kicked out of this temporary transitional housing unit vs outright owning free and clear their own home in Detroit!

      • I doubt any of our homeless people want to go to Detroit and it would be illegal to force them to go there. Also any $1,000 home even in the worst slums of Detroit would likely be uninhabitable, meaning unsafe.

        • Not to force them, but offer a choice to relocate and get a deed in the process. I couldn’t imagine how much less safe a home regardless of crime statistics would be to living on the streets. I somehow doubt thugs will bother robbing the ex-homeless as they don’t have much to steal from to begin with. Tell me why couldn’t they have offered these homeless a room in one of the homeless shelters that have 600 empty beds at any given night? There’s no excuse for wasting half a million bucks to house 3 people in temporary housing.

        • still, should never have cost that much. just another example of gauging the public funds. When are they gonna put some up in Hawaii Kai by the way?

  • It’s a trailer park! Think the state could get Matson to bring in nicer mobile homes from the mainland for less than $109K a unit. If the state would allow some trailer parks, it would be a quick fix to the shortage of low income housing. Of course no one is going to want one of these parks near their property (that’s why this one is in Waianae). Might need to add some extra tie-down requirements to the permits. We do still get tropical storms now and again.

    • What a waist. A glorified container for $109K. You can get 40 ft camper with pull outs from the mainland for $40K or so. $218 sq ft construction cost is totally ridiculous. They must be buying them from HART contractors at that price. Re the Detroit homes for $1K. Did they just assume these people wouldn’t move? How do they determine who gets these? Why don’t they just build more section 8 housing. thousands on the waiting list. Instead they blow $427 K for 3 families. Where are we going to house Ige’s Syrian refugees when they come? Guess we can let them live in the unused train cars.

    • Mobile homes don’t conform the Hawaii building codes and they wouldn’t stand up to local weather. Grew up in a state with mobile home parks, which were always the first to be damaged in high winds. All the options I’m seeing here in the comments were discussed at the Waianae Neighborhood Board meetings last year. This project has been thoroughly vetted, and the people who will live there are from the Waianae Coast. They’ll get services they need to get back on their feet, and their children will have a roof over their heads, not a blue tarp in a beach park.

  • Imua Wai`anae Imua. Tired of people complaining about the homeless problem and not wanting to be part of the solution, EXCEPT for Wai`anae. Maika`i Loa that you are not like the rest of island and only namu namu(complain). If the other parts of the island was like Wai`anae and viewing themselves as part of the solution and not only screaming for others to fix it, we could make homelessness non existent. Even the homeless camps in Wai`anae are better organized and is a working community regardless of minimum resources. They also take responsibility for their safety. Imua Wai`anae Imua

  • Helping “working homeless individuals and homeless families with children” is good. Making these “permanent” is also good but they should have the people pay some amount of rent – If they paid some amount to live there, they will likely get the feeling that it is theirs and they will take care of it.

    The costs should be scrutinized much closer. The cost of that site work on a 7,500 sq ft lot at $450,000 seems excessive. I realize that construction costs are high these days but that work will probably take them only a few days and at most a week. I am curious now how much that “additional site work” is going to cost.

    As a side note, aren’t those semi-circular metal buildings next door to the site something from WWII era? Building more of these modular housing units could actually revitalize the area.

  • I hope they properly vet those who will live there. Must have children, must not have felony records or drug use. I want to see families who need help get the help, not those who want to sit around and do drugs all day. The contruction companies in Hawaii have done their best not to allow good moduler housing in Hawaii, which now days can be 3500 sq ft brick homes (not that we need that, just saying they dont look like trailers anymore). Its cost efficient and can be built right here in Hawaii, no need to import them, they are not made of metal, they are stick built at a plant and moved to the property.Plus they are stronger because they are made for traveling usually with 2×12 beams.

  • I bet HCC students in the construction trade could have completed the homes as a project. Simple rectangle without foundation.

    It’s the $425k debris removal cost that should be scrutinized though. According to county tax records, a 2,400 sf single family wood-framed home circa 1933 was demolished. This also means there likely was a crawlspace (elevated post foundation) so minimal concrete demo was necessary. We removed asbestos tile from one of our rentals for $14k (1,400 sf). Once that has been remediated, a backhoe will demo the house in half a day max. A couple guys spraying the demo site with the water hose and a bobcat can help load the dump trucks. Overgrowth? We hired a landscape contractor to clear 2,000 sf of our rental’s hillside backyard for $1,200 to create a fire break. Lots of kiawe trees and halekoa. Two day job. In all, we spent maybe $60k to demo a 1,400 house with asbestos tile, clear and level the lot and run a new wasteline and underground electrical for the new house. $425k wow

  • Since that Japanese guy sold off his properties in Waialae Kahala, maybe some of those empty lots could be utilized for these units? They’re much closer to grocery stores and jobs! Yeah right – like the folks in those rich neighborhoods would put up with that!

  • The city should approve a 1000 unit trailer park somewhere with cheap land. Tenants buy a Mobile Home under $20,000.00 or the City can buy them and rent them out. Tenants pay for water and electricity and rental of the lot. Once a unit is paid off there only utilities and land rent.

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