HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new affordable housing development could be coming to the heart of Honolulu at the old Meadow Gold facility, but questions remain about how long it will stay affordable.

The need for affordable housing has been a large topic of conversation on the islands and through election campaigns. The Elm Street Development’s proposed 900 units are scheduled to be mixed-use, at least 450 of those units are to be made affordable, which is 140 percent of the area median income. The rest are market rate.

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“Affordable housing is really key, as one of the keys in the future of our community,” Ala Moana-Kakaako Neighborhood Board Chair Ryan Tam said.

Tam says this was pitched to the board at 10 years designated affordable, giving some residents concerns.

“When you get somebody in affordable housing or that first unit or that first condo owner that benefits and then they go on to, they’re able to sell it, and that if it’s not kept affordable, then that’s certainly a problem and then it just goes to market rate,” Tam said.

Further concerns include infrastructure and traffic.

“We’ve been here for 110 years. We’re about to be strangled by four 400-foot tall condominiums,” Shingon Mission of Hawaii Bishop Reyn Tsuru said. “Traffic is bad as is. The water and sewage is bad, as you can imagine in a neighborhood this old,”

The engineering company on the project says they have reached out to the Board of Water Supply and the city’s Wastewater Branch and will study traffic impacts.

There are hopes that more businesses can move into the area, which community members hope will improve crime.

“We do need this area to be rejuvenated. It’s a high crime area, high vagrancy area,” Tsuru said.

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KHON2 reached out to the engineering company Wednesday but has yet to hear back. If approved, the project could break ground in 2024 and be completed in 2026.