New residents happy with Waipahu homes


POSTED: Friday, January 09, 2009

Terry Yingst sat down with resident manager Charles “;Kramer”; Paaga yesterday afternoon to gear up for her move into Mokuola Vista, a new affordable rental complex in Waipahu.

“;I love it,”; said Yingst, 45, a custodian at Waipahu High School who will move into a two-bedroom unit with her 15-year-old son, Alzea. “;The location is really good. You have Times (Super Market), the library. I love it.”;

About 50 people attended the dedication ceremony at Mokuola Vista, a 69-unit affordable rental complex at 94-333 Mokuola St. Guests included Gov. Linda Lingle and Kirk Caldwell, a former state representative who recently was selected by Mayor Mufi Hannemann as his managing director.

The eight-story complex is a result of a public-private partnership between the state's Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. and Homes Hawaii Inc.

State financing and $20 million in state and federal low-income housing tax credits provided by the housing agency will enable the residential building to remain affordable for 61 years.

The rental units are targeted for families whose incomes are at or below 60 percent of Oahu's median income. Rent for the two-bedroom units ranges from $505 to $925 depending on the applicant's income.

The structure is near the Waipahu Public Library and the Waipahu Civic Center. The 641-square-foot unit includes air conditioning and a stacked washer/dryer among other features. Amenities at the building include a security camera system and an on-site resident manager.

Vying for the units are 212 applicants. Prudential Locations LLC, the managing property agent, conducted a lottery and sent out cards last week to about 100 potential residents.

Some who have since been approved are slated to move into the building starting next week.

Lingle, who spoke at the dedication ceremony, said, “;It's more than just building affordable rentals; it's helping hard-working individuals, families to become more financially secure, to build better lives for themselves and for their families.”;

With the difficult economic times and five shelters constructed on the Leeward Coast within the last three years to address the growing homeless problem, Lingle emphasized how important affordable housing is to provide a next step for people who are struggling financially as well as those preparing to leave transitional shelters.

“;This project is a part of the continuum of affordable housing that we seek to provide,”; she said.