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Monday, April 1, 2024
April 1, 2024 News Read
By Andrew Walden @ 4:57 PM :: 1101 Views

Salary Needed for family of Four to Live Comfortably in Honolulu -- $299K

April is Limb Loss and Limb Difference Awareness Month

To Buy a House on Maui, Spend 100.5% of your Wages

SA: … ATTOM estimates that the annual income needed for major homeownership costs is $145,151 in Honolulu County, $118,454 in Hawaii County, and $208,806 in Maui County. But the average wage earner in Honolulu County makes $65,715, and the average is $54,561 in Hawaii County, and $58,201 in Maui County.

ATTOM estimated the median price for single-family homes and condos in Honolulu County during the first quarter at $640,470, which was flat to the first quarter 2023. However, the median price for single-family homes and condos in Hawaii County rose 8% during the same period to $515,000 and in Maui County it rose 4% to $904,527.

At those prices, ATTOM estimated that Honolulu County buyers would need 61.8% of annualized wages to buy; it would take 60.8% in Hawaii County and 100.5% in Maui County.

Maui County’s current percentage was so high that it earned the dubious distinction of being the third highest county in the nation where major ownership costs require the largest percentage of average local wages. Kings County in Brooklyn, N.Y., required 109.5% of annualized local wages to buy a single- family home and Marin County, Calif., outside of San Francisco, required 102.8%.

Sean Ryan, a loan officer with Hawaii Mortgage Experts, said he has seen more Hawaii borrowers are qualifying at closer to the maximum debt-to-income ratio of 50% for a conventional loan than previously, and that the percentage of people who can’t qualify at all is rising, too.

“When you have a single- family home priced at right around $1 million on Oahu, people just can’t afford an $8,000 mortgage,” he said. “I’m seeing people that were buying single-family homes three or four years ago trying to downgrade to a condo or a town home.”

Ryan said elevated interest rates are driving up costs. They rose from about 3% to 3.5% in March or April of 2022 and are now running from 6% to 8%. He said the average for a conventional loan now is about 6.75%.

Chris Fidelibus, owner of RE/Max Honolulu, said, “Payments are just out of reach for a lot of people. We’ve had so many contracts fall out over the last year and a half because interest rates would rise just a little bit from when they were pre-approved.”…

read … Affordability still a challenge for Hawaii homebuyers

Gut the middle class:  Flow of affordable-housing funding faces redirection

SA: … The strongest support for HB 1763 has come from the Hawaii Public Housing Authority, which is trying to redevelop many of its decaying public housing projects under a partnership with private developers.

HPHA’s plan is to develop 10,880 new affordable rental apartments and renovate 1,187 existing but functionally obsolete units at a roughly estimated cost of $6.6 billion over a decade.

But there is concern that giving HPHA projects a priority for HHFDC funding — which can include low-­interest loans, grants and highly coveted federal and state tax credits — could dry up funding for other projects that might have more merit under existing HHFDC criteria….

(TRANSLATION:  Gut the middle class.  Redirect affordable housing money to rehabilitate the projects.)

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands also supports the bill. It has previously competed for and obtained tax credit financing from HHFDC, and has two pending applications.

One of DHHL’s applications would help the agency buy the 82-unit Courtyards at Waipouli condominium complex on Kauai and turn it into rental units for low-­income beneficiaries under a 15-year rent-to-own program. DHHL is seeking $7 million in tax credits, $22 million from the rental fund and $35 million in bonds from HHFDC for the project.

(TRANSLATION:  Gut the middle class.  Redirect affordable housing money to DHHL to buy existing condos that are already affordable and foist them on beneficiaries who don’t want them.)

AP: Big rent-to-own housing push by Home Lands agency praised, pilloried

read … Flow of affordable-housing funding faces redirection

Neither the AG nor the Honolulu Prosecutor want to prosecute Misdemeanors

CB: … A bureaucratic disagreement over who should prosecute hundreds of misdemeanor criminal cases generated by state law enforcement agencies could now result in a painful budget cut for the city prosecutor’s office.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm last year notified state Attorney General Anne Lopez he would no longer prosecute cases that result from arrests or tickets issued by state agencies. That change has forced Lopez’s staff to take responsibility for prosecuting some 1,100 new cases since last fall.

Then this month the House Finance Committee proposed cutting more than $1.4 million in state money for the city prosecutor’s office in what Alm said appears to be a reaction to that decision. The money in question is used to pay for city career criminal prosecution and victim-witness assistance programs….

(TRANSLATION: Block County Prosecutor from prosecuting career criminals.)

read … A Dispute Between The AG And Honolulu Prosecutor Is Playing Out In The Senate - Honolulu Civil Beat

Scientists Say Lahaina's Offshore Water Quality Is Pretty Good Despite The Hype

CB: … Months of water sampling along Lahaina’s burned coastline have turned up surprisingly clean results, allaying concerns that fire-related pollution from last summer’s urban inferno might have found its way into nearshore waters….

(And yet, toxic hysteria continues to serve as an excuse for keeping Lahaina property owners from rebuilding.)

read … Scientists Say Lahaina's Offshore Water Quality Is Pretty Good — So Far — Despite The Fire - Honolulu Civil Beat

Navy Says Its Vast Testing Of Pearl Harbor Water Has Been Flawed

CB: … military officials are acknowledging the testing method they’ve been using for two years may have been inappropriate for assessing drinking water quality. …

read … Navy Says Its Vast Testing Of Pearl Harbor Water Has Been Flawed

Miske trial to resume with more testimony about assault on a rival promoter more than a decade ago

ILind: … Galmiche said he was trying to calm Miske down, when he looked over his shoulder and saw a group of 5 or 6 bouncers walking toward him….

ILind: It’s getting busier around here

read … Miske trial to resume with more testimony about assault on a rival promoter more than a decade ago

Bills to crack down on illegal game rooms finally get a hearing after mounting community pressure

HNN: … Two bills aimed at cracking down on illegal game rooms will finally get a hearing before Honolulu’s City Council this week.

In November, lawmakers proposed a package of legislation meant to address landlords who host illegal game rooms on Oahu.

But two bills included in that package, Bills 57 and 58, have been sidelined for months without a vote.

“Over the past 6 months since this bill has been introduced, we’ve had a shooting at this game room here in Kalihi. It’s now been closed. Further down on school street there was a shooting just a few weeks ago,” said Councilmember Tyler Dos Santos-Tam who introduced the bill with Councilmember Andria Tupola….

  • Bill 57, which would give the city greater authority to go after landlords of illegal game rooms. In particular, it allows the Permitting Department to impose $1,000 in fines a day, up to $150,000 in total. It also allows the city to take legal action against landlords.
  • Bill 58 allows HPD officers, if designated by DPP, to serve penalties for building code, fire code, and land use ordinance violations.

This Wednesday, the bills will heard at a zoning hearing at 9 a.m.

read … Bills to crack down on illegal game rooms finally get a hearing after mounting community pressure

Petition calls for more protections for domestic violence victims

HNN:  … Lucita Ani-Nihoa started a petition on Change.org calling for the Immediate arrest and mandatory counseling for those who violate temporary restraining orders (TRO).

Ani-Nihoa says her daughter Theresa Cachuela filed a TRO and sought police protection from her husband, but requests for help were dismissed or ignored. Cachuela’s husband shot and killed her and later committed suicide.

Here’s the link to the petition: https://www.change.org/p/implement-immediate-arrest-and-mandatory-counseling-for-tro-violators ....

read … Petition calls for more protections for domestic violence victims

Lahaina Fire News:

Legislative Agenda:

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