Think About It: Living and Buying Locally - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

April 28, 2016

Think About It: Living and Buying Locally

I found it. Last week I asked where the affordable housing projects in Honolulu were and I found some; actually… they found me. The Hawaii Community Development Authority, with legislative approval, mandates that all private developers in Kakaako are required to set aside at least 20% of their new residential development for reserved housing or pay cash to that end, and that housing goes mainly to first time buyers and people with strict income limits. Last week, the knowledgeable folks at Ward Village/Howard Hughes gave me a virtual tour of their plans for the Village Life experience under their ownership and development in Kakaako and it looks like the Kewalo Basin area is shaping up to be a fine place to live and visit in the decades ahead.

And that's a start. Senior facility planning and additional first-time buyer developments for those making what we might called average local wages are essential for Honolulu and the immediate areas outside of this footprint over the next 20-years if we want to encourage the up-and-coming, younger generation to stick around and also to ensure that our kupuna have a place to go and be cared for when the time comes. More development will surely be seen locally if the economy holds up, and with that will come more affordable units. That's a start.

We do have rules in place to provide much-needed and realistic housing options for some folks. We need more. As the millennial generation continues to seek home ownership and as reasonably-priced housing needs continue to be an issue, we will need innovative and creative ideas plus additional public-private partnerships that ensure a fair return for developers and a fair opportunity for aspiring buyers to be able to make more dreams come true in town and throughout the state. Think about it…

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