Senior-housing tenants sue firm
The Kahuku Senior Citizens Community Association and residents of a Kahuku elderly housing project are suing the nonprofit corporation that operates the project because it intends to get out from under federal oversight.
The Kahuku Housing Foundation Inc. has informed its tenants that it will not renew its Project-Based Section 8 contract with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development when it expires at the end of next month.
However, the foundation has an agreement with the city to abide by Section 8 requirements until 2053. The Section 8 program provides rental subsidies to people with lower incomes.
Of the 64 one-bedroom units in the project on Puuluana Street, 61 are being rented to Section 8 qualifiers.
According to the lawsuit, the tenants fear that without HUD oversight, they will be forced to move.
Kahuku Housing Foundation board member Junior Primacio said the tenants have nothing to worry about. "We need them. Without them, we cannot be in business," he said.
Primacio said the foundation recently paid off the money it borrowed from HUD to construct the project in 1978 and will be converting the tenants to Section 8 vouchers.
So, in case they decide to leave, they can move into another project that rents to Section 8 qualifiers. Right now, he said, they do not have that ability because it is the project, not the tenants, that is the Section 8 qualifier.
He also said oversight will switch from the federal government to the city because, under its $1-per-year lease for the land, the foundation agreed to abide by Section 8 provisions for 75 years. The lease with the city expires in 2053.