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The Honolulu Advertiser

State officials have embarked on a plan to address years of accumulated problems in the troubled public housing system. The network is a safety net for thousands of poor families but today it's a system in peril. In a three-part series, The Advertiser examines the state's public housing and why officials believe something must be done — and now.


A building at Mayor Wright Homes in Kalihi-Palama was painted with a mural as part of a festival. Many buildings need repairs.

Posted on: August 17, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Hawaii plan tackles public housing crisis
As far back as the early 1970s, lawmakers, advocates and residents were decrying backlogged maintenance, deteriorating buildings and rising crime at public housing projects statewide.

Laboy Manuel, 78, and Juanita Almeida, 69, are seen at home in Palolo Valley Homes. Almeida, whose ailments limit her mobility, says public housing

Posted on: August 17, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Reluctant turnovers defeat housing's goal
Public housing was designed in the 1930s as a stopgap for families facing homelessness or living in overcrowded, substandard conditions. It was supposed to help them move up — then they were supposed...

Mayor Wright resident Fetu Kolio, 41, has been trying for years to drive out crime and improve security at the Kalihi public housing project.

Posted on: August 18, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
High hopes and dashed dreams in Kalihi public housing areas
When Mayor Wright Homes opened in 1952, its 364 units embodied the dream of public housing not only because of what it was — safe, modest homes for the poor — but because of what it had replaced — 15...

The Palolo Valley Homes resident association has proposed taking over management of the housing project from the state.

Posted on: August 18, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Palolo Valley tenants seek bigger role
The wind picks up. A light, chilly rain starts to fall. And still the circle of people assembled on a tiny lawn at Palolo Valley Homes remains, well past dusk, to vent their frustrations about what...

Palolo Homes residents gather in a community room to chat and play: clockwise, from left, Teresa Welle, with 1-year-old niece Mya Welle-Phal, and 2-year-old son Weison Kotlip; Faye Salavea and her 2-year-old son, Xjaduss Sefo; Jan Ii and 2-year-old Kamalani Peters, playing the xylophone; Bina Guerrero, with 7-month-old daughter Jeina; Ollie Kiili; and Treena Sefo, with her baby, Iosua.

Posted on: August 19, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Hawaii public housing authority seeks solutions on Mainland
Hawai'i housing officials face this dilemma: Doing nothing to renovate the aging inventory of public housing in the Islands means it will continue to deteriorate, at some point beyond repair; but a...

Chad Taniguchi, executive director of the Hawai'i Public Housing Authority, has earned praise during his first year on the job, and the housing authority board that hired him has been receptive to the changes he has implemented as well as his candid leadership style.

Posted on: August 19, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.
Chief brings can-do spirit to agency
Former attorney and Kaua'i housing administrator Chad Taniguchi took over as the head of the troubled Hawai'i Public Housing Authority after the job had been empty for nearly six months.