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Hawaii 'Poor Door' for High-Rise Renters Under Fire

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By    |   Monday, 04 December 2017 07:14 AM

A Hawai "poor door" for some lower-income renters at a proposed high-rise development in Honolulu is under fire from a city councilman and a rights organization.

The 41-story mixed-use residential high-rise would be built one entrance for market-rate renters and another entrance for affordable-rate renters, Hawaii News Now reported. ProsPac Holdings said the development would contain 350 market-priced units and 79 that would be considered affordable-rate.

Honolulu city councilman Brandon Elefante told Hawaii News Now that the affordable-rent units would be going to those working a wide variety of jobs.

"While they may not seem poor, just because of their lower income, I don't feel that we should separate, or have to separate entrances," Elefante said. "They should still be allowed the same front door."

Victor Geminiani, co-executive director of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, told Hawaii Civil Beat that separating entrances based on rent creates a sense of inferiority.

"It segregates people in a very clear way," Geminiani told the Civil Beat. "It runs contrary to Hawaii's values and I think American values."

Daniel Simonich, the building's assistant project manager, told Hawaii Civil Beat that separating lower-income tenants from condo owners was necessary because the renters will pay lower maintenance fees, have a separate association and their units will be managed by a different company.

"While most developers create a market rate tower in one location and an affordable tower in another location, our solution allows both projects to exist on the same block in the heart of Honolulu's Ala Moana neighborhood," said William Chen, ProsPac Holdings' assistant director, per Hawaii News Now.

"This approach is a response to international best practices in space management and forward thinking about the kind of urban density that will work best for transit-oriented community planning," Chen said.

"We really felt it was best to clearly separate those groups so that we can manage the groups," Simonich told the Civil Beat. "We're trying to accommodate a wide range of users."

City councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who represents the Ala Moana neighborhood where the building is proposed, told the Civil Beat the entrance idea should work if they correspond directly with the reduced maintenance fee.

"If they make it look like it's a whole (different) building then I don't see anything wrong with it,” Kobayashi told the Civil Beat. "You don't want people to feel like they're lesser."

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A Hawai "poor door" for some lower-income renters at a proposed high-rise development in Honolulu is under fire from a city councilman and a rights organization.
hawaii, poor door, renters, hawaii
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2017-14-04
Monday, 04 December 2017 07:14 AM
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