Billionaire helps Hawaiian families

Nice Story in the Honolulu paper. :slight_smile:

The article

Kahala is a most exclusive neighborhood with all four houses ranging from $2 million to $3.4 million.

This link seems to have a more thorough story

http://kgmb9.com/kgmb/display.cfm?storyID=10850

While my initial response was; “oh, that’s nice”, in reading this article, I cannot understand why he is putting homeless families in a million (or more?) dollar neighborhood, filling in pools and fountains, so they don’t have to take care of the grounds???

If I were a homeowner there, I wouldn’t be happy (to put it extremely mildly), and honestly, I would think the families might be happier in a more “middle of the road, comfortable place”??? Very nice, just not million+ $$$'s…this story smells funny… :dubious:

I find myself agreeing. If I spend millions on a house, I am also paying for living in a neighborhood. Very few are going on record with their complaints, lest they sound racist or classist. Maybe as the story progresses, we’ll hear more from the other side?

Agreed. I can’t see how this will end happily for any concerned.

Hey, we used to live in Honolulu. I wonder if we could get the same deal.

Reminds me of a few years back when some developers in a nearby large city were looking to work around a bi-law that required a certain percentage of new community development to be put aside for ‘affordable housing’.

The council that had set this into law had imagined that any new communities would include a portion of less upscale digs.

What they didn’t foresee was that developers would take another tack.
They put up expensive high rise development into the downtown core of the city. Spectacular upscale condos with all the amenities, their work around on this requirement was they would offer said percentage of these condos at radically reduced rates to a few lower income families.

Who could have predicted that people struggling to buy groceries wouldn’t be comfortable living cheek to jowl with persons who can afford every extravagance? How discouraging would it be to know that your neighbours dog spends more on clothes than your kids? You can’t afford to send your kid on a school field trip but you’re riding the elevator with people who wear diamonds that cost more than your car! Not to mention that every shop in the neighbourhood was meant to cater to the wealthy, so you’d be constantly reminded of what’s never going to be yours. Good luck buying a quart of milk!

Predictably this little experiment proved a great failure.

They’re responsible for the utilities (estimated at $500-$700 per month). Ouch.

There are so many factors to consider here that I doubt this will end up as ideal as he believes it will be.

Geez, has my attitude changed on this since I posted the OP!

The hard part is you (as the neighbors) want to complain, but it’s very difficult to. You don’t want to be seen as racist or insensitive.

Sure, you could be wary of them based on their stereotypes, and like it or not, those stereotypes have been earned. According to one article, the 4 families have 22 kids between them and some are single mothers (per the TV news). If the person moving in next door is a single mom with 5 kids, you can make assumptions on their character… and the type of people that will be dropping by for “large gatherings with dancing and singing to give the street a Polynesian flair”.

Only you cannot do so publicly, while your property values start dropping. I admit it is unfair to those less fortunate who have been given this break. After all, they could use this to turn around their lives. But the tycoon could’ve also done the same thing by giving them a nice suburban home, not a beachfront Kahala house.

Here’s a February article with Kahala residents fighting it.

I’ll be honest w/ you, I was a bit hesitant to reply as I did, wondering if I’d be stoned as an ignorant, conservative, negative, nasty Right Winger.

But this whole story, the more I think about it, is too weird!!! My current theory is “Is this a really expensive ‘in your face’ to the neighborhood?”…or, he is teetering on the brink of dementia, and is so rich nobody dares say anything???

I haven’t read all the stories related to this, but the first one mentions the single mother’s are working, so…who’s going to be watching the (divide 22 kids by 4 homes) approximately 5-6 per household while Mom is working? I can see them running amok around this neighborhood, and can ya blame them? They’re kids that haven’t had much, and to be thrown into this situation.

I still can’t get over him filling in the pools and fountains, and removing landscaping “so they wouldn’t have to worry about it”…can you imagine what the grounds of those $2-4 million properties IN Hawaii looked like???

It continues to boggle my mind. :confused:

Sounds like he’s attention whoring or incredibly reckless. If this was about helping homeless families, he’d finance the building of large apartment buildings.

This sounds to me like the worst way he could handle this: he’s not helping many people; the people he’s helping will still be saddled with high living expenses; he’s pissing off his neighbors; and he’s putting poor people completely out of their element. Kahala isn’t exactly close to anything either. I don’t imagine many homeless people work there or near there.

I’d rather live in Manoa anyway. :wink:

What if this is a plan to bring down the price of expensive properties, buy them off, move the poor families to a more modest neighborhood and voila! He’s the owner of a lot of expensive homes bought for very little.

Think abou it.

My bro said the exact same thing when I sent him the link!!! Mentioning the 10 yr lease option, etc…still, a twisted plan, I say!!!

It feels icky to me, too. Especially the “polynesian flair” comment. It feels as if he’s buying them for a museum collection or something. Instead of hiring entertainment, he’s renting them homes to dance their quaint little native dances for the amusement of he and his rich friends. :rolleyes:

I think you hit it. He is buying them to create his own real-life…Sims game. I guess money really can buy everything.

I’m bothered by this. I lived in Hawai’i for about five years in the late 80’s. I don’t understand why this person would decide to give a 2 mil + home to a single mom with 4-6 kids when there are families - hardworking people - who have 3 to five generations living in one home. Housing costs are so high in Hawai’i that many families never own their own home - they live with their parents; then the home is deeded to the (grand)children.
Something about this just doesn’t seem right.

Totally agree. I’ve always liked Manoa much better than Kahala.

I don’t see this plan benefitting anyone involved. One story said the mom moved to a shelter when her rent was raised from $800.00 to $1200.00.

I don’t see how she can afford the estimated (only?) $700.00 utility bill. On the surface it appears she will save a hundred bucks, but I don’t believe the utility estimate. The house has been empty. Was that the utility bill of an empty house?

Well, one of the good things about Hawaii is that you don’t have to worry about heating the place. It seems like to me that she could shut down the rooms they don’t need to use, open the windows and use fans instead of trying to air condition the place and cut down on electricty usage in that way.

What really concerns me is how are these single mothers going to keep these places clean? I live in a big house myself, and though it’s just me and my husband, I’d have a hard time keeping up with the place if I didn’t have a housekeeper. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I had five kids.

Did the places come with a lawnmower? If not, there’s a big expense that each of these families are going to face. After all, if you’ve lived in apartments, you’re unlikely to already own one.

Oh, no, he’s filling in the pools and fountains w/ dirt so they don’t have to worry about it…yet another detail that really bothered me about this.
See quote below…

Saying he wanted the homes to be more simple and more “regular,” Kawamoto had the concrete walls at two of the properties taken down. Also, all of the swimming pools and fountains were filled in with dirt.

“I’m trying to make it so they don’t have to take care of the yards. That’s why I’m removing a lot of things,” said Kawamoto.