Think About It: A Housing Hit - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

October 6, 2011

Think About It: A Housing Hit

A lot of people these days talk about getting rid of government. They say government is the root of our problems, overspending, infiltrating too many aspects of our lives and simply getting in the way. Yes, government does do a lot of things poorly, but I'm not sure how these very same people would feel without government and its support of their public schools, their roads, their military, their Medicare, their social security, and their police force.

I do know that sometimes we see wonderful examples of government working with the private sector to provide something of value that seems affordable and won't tax us with piles of bills to be paid for years to come. Such is the Hale Wai Vista development in Waianae, which allows families with incomes below the Honolulu median to find a home. Some tenants have moved in and move units are still available to rent. The usual bureaucratic delays kept this project from coming to fruition for five years, but the combination of the nonprofit Hawaii Housing Development Corporation and state, federal, city, and local bank funds have made this project a reality.

"Affordability" is a catch-all term that really means nothing unless you can actually make it work for you, whatever it is that's being offered. Waianae's Hale Wai Vista II units go for under $1,000 in monthly rent, and it is just one of many housing projects completed or under way using this formula of non-profit plus government funds plus private sector money. We need more public/private projects to help us solve more problems, and this effort proves it can be done. Think about it…

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