Sunday, March 4, 2001
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Posted on: Sunday, March 4, 2001

Kane'ohe project move-ins on hold

By Eloise Aguiar
Advertiser Windward Bureau

KANEOHE — A long-delayed Kaneohe rental housing complex for low-income seniors is completed and most of its tenants are signed up, but they have been unable to move in because of hold-ups caused by unique financing and the accompanying paperwork.

At a glance

What: Low-income senior housing

Where: 45-705 Kamehameha Highway, Kaneohe.

Information: Call Jody Sakai at 738-3100.

The project was built using six different sources of financing, said Marvin Awaya, executive director of Pacific Housing Assistance Corp., a nonprofit group that is developing the complex. The unit also has two owners and two rental rates, depending on how they were financed.

"It’s never been done before," said Awaya, explaining that money for affordable rental projects has been difficult to get for seven years. "It’s not a one-stop shop anymore."

Contributing to the financing were the city, state, federal government and private investors, he said, adding that all parties are ready to close on the project.

Gordon Furutani of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development said the closing also is waiting for assurance from the city that certain sewage improvements will be made. But Furutani said the city already has given him verbal assurance and the closing can proceed once all the documents are in place.

Meanwhile, the approved tenants are impatient to move in and are concerned about giving notice to their present landlords, according to the property manager.

The 74-unit Senior Residence at Kaneohe at 45-705 Kamehameha Highway was planned in 1997 and was to have been completed in 1998. Design and financing problems delayed construction.

The project was completed in December, and its property manager began taking applications in November for January occupancy, said Jodie Sakai, Prudential/Locations property management division.

The one-bedroom, one-bath units offer two types of rent schedules, depending on a renter’s income.

Under the federal HUD program, renters earning up to 50 percent of Honolulu’s median household income pay 30 percent of their income for rent. All 44 of these units have been taken, but she is collecting names for a waiting list, she said.

Under a low-income housing tax credit program, renters earning up to 60 percent of Honolulu’s median household income will pay $595 a month.

About half of 30 apartments have been taken, but renters have the option of taking one of these units while they wait for a HUD unit.

The four-story building has an elevator, a copper roof and a landscaped entry.

Tenants must be 62 or older and have a gross income of at least $1,000 a month, with a satisfactory credit rating.

Correction: Jodie Sakai’s name was misspelled in a previous version of this story.

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