City acquires 24-unit apartment building to house homeless
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, October 26, 2016
Honolulu – Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced today that the city has purchased a 24-unit apartment building located at 1727 South Beretania Street for $6.9 million. Housing Solutions Incorporated (HSI) has been selected as the property manager and will begin accepting applications from prospective tenants in December. The city and HSI will engage community stakeholders and work collaboratively to welcome the new tenants to the neighborhood and make the project a success for all.
“Today’s purchase provides 24 permanent supportive rental housing units for people experiencing homelessness,” said Mayor Caldwell. “Whether it’s a turnkey project ready for occupancy like this, modular housing like our Wai‘anae properties at Halona Road or Farrington Highway, acquiring and renovating buildings like we’re doing at our Pi‘ikoi and Kuwili projects, or creating the state’s first Housing Navigation Center at Sand Island, our housing team is aggressively exploring every opportunity to move the needle, innovate, and deliver housing solutions. Addressing homelessness ultimately comes down to providing permanent supportive housing and this purchase was another step in the right direction.”
Mayor Caldwell was joined at the property by Office of Strategic Development Project Manager Liz Char, Office of Strategic Development Administrator Sandra Pfund, Department of Community Services (DCS) Deputy Director Barbara Yamashita, Office of Housing Executive Director Jun Yang, HSI President Terry Brooks, and HSI Vice President Gaye Johnston.
“This property ideally meets several desired objectives,” said Office of Strategic Development Administrator Sandra Pfund. “It provides permanent rentals in an area that includes varied retail options, public transportation, and community amenities. Additionally, the property was fully renovated, ready for occupancy and vacant so we could quickly assist a good number of people.”
The three-story, 17,500 square-foot building was built in 1960 on a 13,950 square-foot lot and renovated in 2016. There are 20 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units and 4 two-bedroom, one-bathroom units. Two of the units are being retrofitted to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The retrofitting is being expedited by Governor David Ige’s emergency proclamation to address homelessness. The other 22 units are ready for occupancy.
The purchase was made under a non-disclosure agreement that was in effect until the transaction was finalized. The sale closed today, and now that the non-disclosure period has ended, DCS is establishing a community advisory committee to gather input and address any questions from neighbors. DCS and HSI will consider the recommendations of the advisory committee in management of the property and programming for tenants. Housing First clients will be welcome at the project, and such clients have a case manager available 24/7 to help them remain housed. HSI will begin accepting rental applications in December.
Project tenants must be experiencing homelessness (sheltered or unsheltered) and make less than 50 percent of the Area Median Income, which is $35,160 for a single person and $50,250 for a family of four. Rents follow Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation affordable rent guidelines and are capped at $942 for one-bedroom units and $1,131 for two-bedroom units. Tenants receiving housing subsidies such as Housing First, HUD-VASH, or Section 8, pay a rent of 30 percent of their income, with the remainder of the rent covered by the subsidy. There is no operational funding for the project and property management and tenant services will be paid for through rental income.
“This project is a perfect example of government and nonprofit cooperation, designed to lift people from poverty," said HSI President and Principal Broker Terry Brooks.
HSI has 30 years of experience in property management, real estate development, and homeless services. HSI manages a portfolio that includes similar projects with similar tenants, such as Weinberg Hale and Sea Winds.