HONOLULU (KHON2) — Finding housing for our kupuna is a growing issue, but many new facilities are experiencing pushback.
A heated meeting for a new planned care facility in Hawaii Kai happened on Tuesday, June 7.
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Kalama Village Center is one of the few places of business for miles for Kalama Valley residents.
A proposed 360 unit kapuna living community on this land had some strong pushback from residents.
“We’re just against a more expensive unit but a lot of people listed their concerns about having an assisted living facility in hawaii kai,” said Kaleo Nakoa, a Kalama Valley resident.
Developers they say the population of east Honolulu is aging.
“Similar organizations in town that operate in the same manner are profoundly on five, six, seven-year waiting lists,” said Dr. David McEwan, volunteer chairman of the board at Luana Kai.
An EMS station near Kaiser High School is the only one that serves Hawaii Kai. The closest are six miles away in Aina Hina and Waimanalo or nine miles away in Waimanalo. EMS said they’ll have to look at adding another station if the facility is built which is more money from taxpayers.
“Whenever we have growth in an area like that it’s something that concerns us,” said Honolulu EMS chief Chris Sloman. “Because we really have to look at our call volumes and response times and available resources. We have in surrounding communities and start to pay close attention to how well we’re able to adapt to that increase or change in volume.”
Honolulu City Council chair Tommy waters said the land is zoned commercial and preservation..
“I think it might be a different story if it was affordable housing,” said Waters. “So young adults from Hawaii Kai could stay in the communities that they grew up in. But it’s not it’s luxury, senior housing, and I think they’re gonna have a really, really tough time.”
Businesses in the shopping center want to stay ike the popular ono seafood.
“I want to stay,” said Lance Brug, Ono Seafood Kalama Valley owner. “I’ve been in Hawaii Kai since the 80’s. This is where I live. This is where we own our home. All our kids go to Kaiser High school.”
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Details will be announced for another community meeting scheduled for July 13.