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

April 12, 2016

Think About It: Housing Heat

The term "affordable housing" is often thought to be an oxymoron in Hawaii, like "jumbo shrimp", "larger half", "civil war", and "original copy". When developers can get $800,000 for homes and condos, apartments and duplexes, where is the incentive to develop and build truly affordable units, say in the $300,000 range?

Waiea is one of the many new Kaka`ako condominiums going up amid the state birds, the construction crane, right off of Ala Moana Boulevard. Units in this tony facility are 90% sold out at an average price of $3.4-million. That simply means the market is there for people who want a view of Ala Moana Beach Park for $3.4-million. The 36th floor, 10,000 square foot grand penthouse will set you back a cool $36-million, according to a newspaper report. The penthouses at the luxury condos being built at Ala Moana Center are priced much more reasonably in the $20-$25 million range. And the beat goes on- as high end buyers exist, buildings are built.

Hey, if there are buyers, that's fine. But once again, where is a public-private plan to build some housing that the gainfully employed 25-40 year old, "do-I-stay-or-do-I-go" person can find? Molokai? Where is the resolve to address a problem that could further sap and is already draining our future of smart, innovative, interested, locally-invested homeowners that will be responsible for leading our state? Not a new question, just one that seems to drift further away from reality as more pricy edifices rise throughout Honolulu. Think about it…

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