Friday, January 13, 2012

Eviction Notice

I grew up in the town of Koloa on the island of Kauai.
I feel very fortunate to be able to have been raised the "old style".

We lived in a Plantation Camp.
Life was simple.
We had no traffic.
We knew EVERYBODY in our town.
(and EVERYBODY knew our parents/grandparents)

We never had to lock our doors.


(pic taken 1/7/12)

Some of us took a bath in outside bathhouses

Going outside to play marbles meant we would go to the cane field up the road and dig marbles out of the ground to play with.

(sugar cane in our front yard pic taken 1/7/12)

Baseball was played with a stick from the mac nut tree and rocks from the road.
The road was (and still isnt) paved. It's a gravel road made out of crushed coral.

(pic 1/7/12)
We rode our bikes and stuck playing cards or our grandpa's old beer cans to the spokes of our bikes to make loud noises.


We played in our neighbors tree houses and knew it best to be home before it got dark or we would get 'lickens'.

Back in November, Grove Farm notified the last of the residents to live in the camp they had 120 days to vacate as they would be demolishing their homes, their lives, all their memories and making room for development and so called 'affordable housing coming from China.
China? Really?

We have a struggling local economy and they want to bring in prefab homes from China?
The first article came and this article followed.
(please do read each article)
The neighborhood has received amazing support from the community even more so proving we are an Ohana.

This past Sunday Lee Cataluna wrote an article in the Honolulu Star Advertiser posted here.
Lee Cataluna's parents lived in this very camp.

This neighborhood is where I lived up untill I got married.
I spent majority of my life there.

I work in the construction industry and so I understand very well the importance of development and new construction. Change is inevitable, I get that.

What I don't get is how they are evicting these people whom majority of the residents are elderly, who have never lived anywhere else in their life, who live on very strict and limited incomes to make way for development.
Money Hungry.

For years the camp has been so called 'shut down' so no new residents could move there.
At any point if someone would move out or pass away (which remember these are mostly elderly people) the house would be demolished and the lot left empty or leased for agriculture reasons. (Most lots are used to raise fighting chickens) Why they cannot continue to do this, I have no idea. But Grove Farm has decided in this tough economy they want to develop.
To read more on the issues surrounding everything please take the time to read this blog post and the website Save Koloa Camp which was created by another lifelong resident and my childhood neighbor Kepa Kruse.
My question to Grove Farm is touched upon in this article written by Lee Cataluna, who's parents as I mentioned were also residents of the camp. And I have to add the photo in the post, that's my grandparents house where my mom lives till today. The window on the far right was my bedroom I shared with my grandmother.
Grove Farm is proposing this new development and offer affordable homes and the residents that they are evicting will be given first chance at those affordable homes.
Published reports put these affordable homes at around $400,000.
I have two points to make regarding this:
1. My husband and I got suckered into purchasing 'affordable housing' 6 years ago at the height of the big real estate boom.
We purchased our home for $420,000 and took out a 30 year mortgage for $400,00 at 5.75% interest.
Our monthly mortgage payment is $2,900.
My husband and I both have very good jobs and it's a struggle to pay our mortgage every month and make ends meet. We tried to refinance our mortgage but we cannot, why?
Because the market has shifted extremely downwards and now our brand new ocean view home is worth only $320,000 on the HIGH side.
So how is it they figure that $400,000 is fair market value of 'affordable housing' pricing?
2. The rent that these residents are paying currently is $600 & $700.
The residents there are my mom's age and older up to in their late 80's.
Do they think at their age and income these residents are going to first of all qualify for a mortgage and secondly how are they going to afford it?
Needless to say, my mom and the other residents of Koloa Camp didnt have a great Thanksgiving or end of the year.
It has been however, very encouraging to see the community come out to show their support. Thankfully my mom does have a plan and a place to move when the time comes.
Until then the residents and community is asking for Grove Farm to find another location for their planned development.
(Grove Farm does only own half the friggen island!!)
Ok, I know its been a long post I hope you've stuck around and read all the way through.
Please do take the time to read all the articles I posted links to and also check out

5 comments:

Meddie said...

Wow, where have I been? I didn't know they were evicting those living in Koloa Camp. That's so sad.

Kanani said...

WOW! I've been so out of touch with what is happening back home since the ohana and I moved to Oregon!

I get what Grove Farm is "trying" to do but you hit it dead on when you talk about the cost difference for the people who are getting evicted to move back to the area!

$400,000 mortgage Rhi? Jeez, you know what kinda hale you can get here with that? LOL HUGE!

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

That's so sad! I wonder if they chose that area BECAUSE of the elderly population--they thought they would't put up as much of a fight. I think they should be required to give everyone moving a new 400,000 house!

Helene said...

Wow, that is SO sad. It just seems these big developers have no heart whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

i CANT BELIVE THIS IS HAPPENING AGAIN A PEACEFUL MEANINGFUL HOME IS GOING TO BE DISRUPETED FOR WHAT
? DO WE WANT THE DEVELOPMENT? STOP THINKING ABOUT THE PEOPLE THAT COULD COME TO HAWAII AND START THINKING ABOUT THE ONES THAT ARE ALREADY HERE. DONT GIVE UP THE FIGHT NO MATTER HOW HARD! OUR VOICES ARE OUR STRONGETS WEAPON!

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