Tenants organize for say in sale of housing
Residents of city-owned affordable housing apartments are hoping to have a say in the sale of their buildings.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced in February that the city would sell its 12 affordable-housing properties.
Tenants from six affordable-housing properties on Oahu gathered at the Harris United Methodist Church to organize into an association.
"We were concerned about saving our homes. We're trying to stop any decision from happening without our having a stake in it," said Cat Wong, a resident of the Chinatown Gateway Plaza. "We want to be active in the search for the buyer. We want feedback on who will buy our building."
They are forming Ohana Housing Network Oahu, or OH-NO.
"We want a say in who you are going to sell to," said former state Rep. Bev Harbin. "We came up with a description of what the buyer should look like."
The group made a list of qualifications they would like any buyer to meet, including a commitment to keeping the property's current mix of affordability; experience in owning affordable housing; establishing a relationship with management and residents to keep them informed; and giving residents a voice when repairs are made.
Hannemann said in February that any buyer must meet several conditions, including an assurance that the rents would be kept low.
OH-NO will meet for sign waving at Honolulu Hale from 3 to 5 p.m. June 20. They also would like to meet with prospective buyers on Aug. 24.