Menor: More Af­ford­able Hous­ing

MidWeek Islander (Central Oahu) - - Central Oahu Islander - By JAIMIE KIM

As new hous­ing de­vel­op­ments are be­ing eyed for his dis­trict, City Coun­cil­man Ron Menor wants a change to the city’s af­ford­able hous­ing rules to en­sure avail­able, af­ford­able homes for fam­i­lies.

“I want to make sure that a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of the res­i­den­tial units built in th­ese new de­vel­op­ments are truly af­ford­able,” said Menor, who rep­re­sents Dis­trict 9 (Waikele, Waipahu, Vil­lage Park, Makak­ilo, Ku­nia, Mililani Town).

The Koa Ridge de­vel­op­ment ad­ja­cent to Cen­tral Oahu Re­gional Park, for ex­am­ple, could bring in 3,500 new homes start­ing as soon as 2015, and Menor points out that the av­er­age cost for a sin­gle-fam­ily home on the is­land is $655,000.

“The cost of hous­ing is out of reach for so many peo­ple,” he said. “… We need to work on de­vel­op­ing more af­ford­able hous­ing — for-sale and rental units — at prices that peo­ple can truly af­ford.”

He would re­quire de­vel­op­ers to make rentals avail­able. Cur­rent city rules dic­tate that 30 per­cent of new de­vel­op­ments be ded­i­cated to af­ford­able hous­ing. Menor is ask­ing that 30 per­cent of that por­tion be rentals.

“I also want to make sure that home prices are more af­ford­able for lowto mod­er­ate-in­come house­holds,” he added, not­ing that his de­sire to en­sure af­ford­able hous­ing for his com­mu­nity is a per­sonal one as well: “I have three sons,” he said. “I want them, and all of Hawaii’s young peo­ple, to have the op­por­tu­nity to pur­chase homes in Hawaii.”

Another change would in­crease the amount of time an af­ford­able unit is avail­able at its low­ered price. Cur­rent re­quire­ments state that own­ers have 10 years be­fore they can sell a unit at mar­ket price. Menor would like to ex­tend that time.

To ac­com­plish th­ese goals, he plans to en­gage in dis­cus­sions with the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor over his pack­age of Res­o­lu­tions (13-168 and 13-202).

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