Governor Announces Continued Commitment to Improve Public Housing
Honolulu – Governor Neil Abercrombie today announced the state has completed a hot water backup system for Mayor Wright Homes, ensuring hot water for residents.
The hot water backup system installation is a first step towards ensuring a permanent solution. The state budget for fiscal year 2012 includes $5.6 million in capital improvement funds for a long-term solution to the water heating system at Mayor Wright Homes.
“The completion of this project is a temporary solution to a longstanding and unacceptable problem,” Governor Abercrombie said. “This is just one of a long series of investments we will make in our public housing—to ensure that families have safe and dignified housing as they move toward self-sufficiency.”
In recent years, residents of Mayor Wright Homes lacked hot water at times due to the intermittent failure of the public housing development’s solar water heating system and backup system. In March, the Governor visited with residents of Mayor Wright Homes to listen to their concerns after learning they lacked hot water.
As of June 15, 2011, backup systems for the gas-powered tankless water heaters were installed for all 35 buildings of Mayor Wright Homes. The $514,800 project was awarded to JJS Construction, with a Notice to Proceed issued on March 22, 2011. The project was completed nearly one month ahead of schedule and within its budget.
“We are committed to working with the residents of Mayor Wright Homes and other public housing communities to address maintenance issues that have been deferred for too long,” Department of Human Services Director Pat McManaman said. “We take our responsibility to maintain and improve Hawaii’s public housing seriously and are resolved to move forward in partnership with the residents of these valued communities.”
The state budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 includes capital improvement projects for the Hawaii Public Housing Authority totaling over $78 million ($37.6 million in 2012, and $40.8 million in 2013). These projects include the rehabilitation of hundreds of vacant and uninhabitable units and upgrades for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.