Good News for Kupuna: Affordable Option Coming Soon to Chinatown

Hawaii’s elderly residents or kupuna could soon benefit from a new affordable senior rental housing complex slated to rise on the edge of Honolulu’s Chinatown.

Hawaii’s elderly residents, or kupuna, could soon benefit from a new affordable senior rental housing complex slated to rise on the edge of Honolulu’s Chinatown.

According to the Pacific Business News, the city and county of Honolulu have selected The Michaels Development Co. to develop the $49 million project, which will replace a two-story office and retail building located on the 26,925-square-foot property at 1331 River St.

Called Halewaiolu Residences, the complex will include two towers totaling 151 units, more than three levels of parking, a street-level multicultural community center and retail.

Terms and conditions of the development agreement have yet to be finalized. Negotiations should last for as long as four months, after which Mayor Caldwell’s administration will formally present the proposal to the city council for final review. If approved, the project could break ground next year and be completed within a three-year window.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division (Note: Elderly is defined as 65 years of age or older).

Rents in the complex are expected to range from $450 to $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment. Some of the new units will be reserved for residents who are at least 62 years old and earn as much as 80 percent of the city’s and county’s area median income, which amounts to $53,700 for a single person. The majority of the new residences will be available for seniors earning as much as 60 percent of the island’s median income, or $40,260 for a single person.

The project aims to increase the supply of much needed affordable senior housing in the city’s urban core, while contributing to Chinatown’s resurgence.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hawaii has one of the fastest-growing aging populations in the nation. On Oahu alone, the elderly segment (age 60 or older) will represent more than 25 percent of the total number of residents within the next decade.

Photo credit: WRNS Studio