Hawaii Public Housing Authority

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Hawaii provides federal and state public housing for low-income residents. The programs are administered by the Hawaii Public Housing Authority using both U.S. Housing and Urban Development and state guidelines.

In Hawaii’s federal housing projects, the average household income is $12,418. About 39 percent of households have income from jobs, 39 percent receive welfare assistance, 52 percent have Social Security or pension income and 24 percent receive money from other sources.

The state has 67 federal and 14 state public housing developments statewide with a total of 6,208 units. Most of the public housing complexes are on Oahu, which has 43 housing projects with a total of 4,904 units. Sixteen of those are limited to elderly tenants.

The largest public housing developments on Oahu include Kuhio Park Terrace in Kalihi, with 614 units, and Kalihi Valley Homes, which has 400 units. Mayor Wright Homes on the edge of Chinatown has 364 units, while three different complexes in Palolo Valley have a total of 421 units.

Not all units are inhabitable, however, and in 2005 the state started tackling a backlog of repairs and renovations that were estimated then to cost $600 million. The five year capital improvement plan from 2009 to 2013 budgets about $7.8 million a year for physical repairs.

One of the first major public housing undertakings Gov. Neil Abercrombie made after he was elected was to restore spotty hot water service at Mayor Wright. As of June 2011, gas-power tankless heater systems were installed in each of the 35 buildings. Construction took about three months and cost $514,800 to complete.

In addition to upgrading the aging units, the state has also been working to curb violence at its public housing developments. In the 1990s, Mayor Wright Homes became the first public housing site designated for a Weed and Seed program, which uses aggressive law enforcement to “weed” out crime.

The seeds are social services and community programs brought in to help improve quality of life for all residents and provide positive activities for children. Between 1997 and 2002, the Weed and Seed program in the Kalihi, Palama and Chinatown area led to significant reduction in crime — with a 67 percent decrease in murder, larceny theft and aggravated assault and a 75 percent reduction in assaults, vandalism, prostitution, weapons offenses and drug laws.

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Hawaii Public Housing Authority

December 2016

Thursday, December 29

After-School Program Helps Palolo’s Kids Find Their Way

Thursday, December 1

200 To Receive Rental Assistance

November 2016

Monday, November 21

This Kalihi Bike Shop Is Helping Kids Learn Life Lessons

October 2016

Thursday, October 20

Mayor Wright Reconstruction Will Displace 1,500 Anxious Tenants

September 2016

Monday, September 12

Hawaii Just Doesn’t Have Enough Public Housing For The Disabled

April 2016

Wednesday, April 27

State Aims To Develop 22,500 Affordable Rental Housing Units

Wednesday, April 20

Housing Advocates Hope Lawmakers Will ‘Do The Right Thing’

December 2015

Tuesday, December 8

Will Ige Get Serious About Repairing Hawaii’s Public Housing?

November 2015

Wednesday, November 4

Should People Evicted From Hawaii Public Housing Get A Second Chance?

October 2015

Tuesday, October 20

City Council Panel Urges State to Fund Repairs for Empty Public Housing

August 2015

Thursday, August 20

Faster Permitting Urged for State Public Housing Work

Monday, August 3

Pod Squad: Looking Behind the ‘Facade’ at Vacant Public Housing

July 2015

Wednesday, July 29

What Will It Take to Make Hawaii’s Vacant Public Housing Units Habitable?

Monday, July 13

Why Are 175 Public Housing Units Sitting Vacant While Honolulu Struggles to Find Housing for the Homeless?

March 2015

Tuesday, March 10

State Settles Suit Over Substandard Public Housing for $350K

Friday, March 6

Lawsuit Claims Hawaii Public Housing Security Guards Beat Up Residents

February 2015

Monday, February 9

Public Housing Is Crumbling, So What’s State Doing About It?

February 2014

Tuesday, February 4

Sen. Chun Oakland Seeks $220M for Affordable Housing in Hawaii

November 2012

Tuesday, November 13

$11M Renovations Start at Palolo Public Housing

June 2011

Thursday, June 23

More Appointees Snub Hawaii Governor

Friday, June 17

Hot Water Woes Evaporate at Mayor Wright

Friday, June 3

Auditor: Poor Management of Hawaii Public Housing Puts Federal Funds at Risk

April 2011

Friday, April 8

Abercrombie: Mayor Wright Hot Water Woes To Be Fixed Immediately

March 2011

Wednesday, March 9

Abercrombie: Hold Me Accountable

February 2011

Tuesday, February 22

Abercrombie Keeps Public Housing Promise

Saturday, February 12

Throwing Cold Water on Rhetoric

Thursday, February 10

Even with Free Land, ‘Affordable Housing’ Fails

Monday, February 7

Mayor Wright Hot-Water Woes Encourage Cynicism About Government

January 2011

Thursday, January 20

Housing Status Quo Needs to Change

Hawaii Needs to Do More to Help Families Facing Foreclosure

Wednesday, January 5

Hawaii Home Values Have Doubled Since 2000

November 2010

Thursday, November 4

Lack of Hot Water For Public Housing Residents a Test for Abercrombie

October 2010

Monday, October 25

Carlisle Says ‘No’ to New Office of Housing

May 2010

Saturday, May 1

What Comes After Curfew at Housing Complex?