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Opinion pieces, analyses and letters are intended to provide a diverse range of views from our community. They are not intended to represent the views of Maui Now.

LETTER: ‘Hale Makana’ in Wailuku Notorious as “The Hood”

By Linda Case, Wailuku

Low-income housing development Hale Makana O Waiale. Photo courtesy Linda Case.

Low-income housing development Hale Makana O Waiale. Photo courtesy Linda Case.

Maui No Ka Oi’. Yes, Maui can be a lovely place to live, unless of course you live at Hale Makana O Waiale.

This is a housing development in Wailuku, Maui. This development was designed for low-income families. Due to the high cost of living here on Maui, we all know that rent can be very expensive. Yes, much more so than living on the mainland.

So, those of us who choose to live on Maui make a decision to live where we can financially manage our income and continue to enjoy the lifestyle and beautiful weather here on the island.

This was the original intent of the low-income development by the County of Maui. However, that is not what has happened. It has become a project for anyone who doesn’t want to work or who just wants to hang out. The development has adopted the term “the hood.”

There are multiple families sharing units, there are free loaders that come in at night with their bedrolls and sleep on the floor and leave early in the morning. This is common practice. There are a number of apartments with more than 10 persons that occupy the unit on a daily basis. This is a definite fire code violation.

The administration has been scrutinized recently and has lost many of the workers. From the top administration, to office staff, to security workers, and maintenance personnel there have been cuts. The poor administration and lack of direction has resulted in an unsafe place to live. The complaints are not taken seriously resulting in an unsafe place to live.

The noise level is a constant concern. Daily there are multiple children playing in the streets with no parental supervision.

Security is said to be 24 hours a day – 7 days a week. However, many times you cannot reach them by phone and the door to the security office is closed.

I am sure that the intent by the County of Maui was not to create “the hood.” If properly managed and secured Hale Makana O Wailae could become a pleasant place to live for those of us with low-income.

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  • FatAssFu

    Sounds like somebody needs a second job. I bet I work more hours than you, and pay twice as much rent, and live in a smaller place. If I were you, I’d look at the positives. You have a modern apartment with a washer and dryer, a giant park with sports facilities, and actual security.

    • Phoebus

      Right on, true dat! However, i’m reminded of the old adage, “But for the grace of God, there go I”. Many folks may be only a job loss away from having to apply for housing at HMOW.

  • changeiscoming

    Wow, what was the purpose of this piece? To label and degrade the residents or shine light on the lack of proper management? I’ve been living here (HMOW) for a long time because I can’t afford anywhere else. So, to say I am offended would be an understatement. I’ve worked my butt off to support my family and attain a undergraduate degree. If you have an affordable place for my family to rent, by all means, I’m all ears. If not, you should shut up and keep your interpretations of someone’s living situation to yourself!

    • srobot

      When tax payers money gets used for subsidies and welfare it becomes everyone’s problem to find a solution. Not saying I support the story but she has a right to voice concern if she pays taxes.

    • Phoebus

      My take on the article is that Ms. Case is not attempting “To label and degrade the residents”; after all, she is a resident too. I think she was trying to “shine light on the lack of proper management”. If the local news stories published in the last coupla years are to be believed, it’s no secret that the former boss lady left under a cloud and that there were numerous mgmt shortcomings.

  • MauiWas

    I agree!!! That place used to be really nice when it first opened. Now look like one Hood.

  • hogdr

    your opening remarks, while unnecessary for the article, reveal quite a bit about your general point of view. mainland prices? choosing to live on maui? sounds like you don’t know anybody local???

    • Phoebus

      Agree regarding her superfluous remarks. But your statement “sounds like you don’t know anybody local???” has me scratching my head for relevance also.

  • Day late and all Dollar short

    I too remember and time when things were brighter, security was tighter, better managed, it was safe to go park, crimes were lesson, domestic violence subdued and if you didn’t follow rules they got ya andout yyou went. Cleaned up the property, cars were towed, inspection were done, and security for the most part was on it. Not perfect but better than it ever was for an long time.

    Look no further than the those that were recently fired CEO, Maintenence /Security /Operations Direct or who are ultimately to blame.

    They didn’t turn it around they screwed over the employees that actually cared about what they were doing. Sad sad day, to bad they can’t bring those employees back!

    • Phoebus

      Is the replacement crew apathetic, incompetent, or both?

  • kiele21

    I strongly object to the author’s assertions that we live here to enjoy the “lifestyle” and “weather” whatever that’s supposed to mean. We live here because this is our home, this is where we’re from, and this is where we belong.

    Secondly you will not find many supporters of your position here. Most of us can spot a malahine a mile away and you got transplant written all over you. Your reference of Hale Makana as being a “project” is particularly distasteful since it is a term reserved to label areas where the very poor, indigent and black tend to live.

    This article is nothing more than one persons attempt at race bating and an attack on the most vulnerable of our community. I’m sure reforms should be made with the administration of Hale Makana. But clearly your fetid frustration has overcome your judgment and I’ll be the first to call your your resignation.

    • Erik

      Just so you know, accusing someone of ‘race bating’ (sic) just after stating that “using the term “project” is distasteful since it is a term reserved to label areas where the very poor, indigent and BLACK tend to live” is the height of hypocrisy. Of course, I’d be lying if I said you were the first “non-maluhine” I’ve encountered that was hypocritically racist…

      • knowwhatyousayingorwhat

        and BLACK tend to live? doesn’t get more racist then that ah

    • Caption Oblivious

      Your comment reeks of racalism.

      • Phoebus

        Indeed, fetid.

    • Phoebus

      Sounds like you don’t cotton to those malahines and transplants. Odd, since even those “born and raised” all have ancestors who were transplants. And race bating (sic)? What do you think the statement “…particularly distasteful since it is a term reserved to
      label areas where the … black tend to live.” implies about your racial views? Hypocrisy much?

  • amazing

    ..well the letter what ever the point is, isn’t very well written, imo. With that said, it does not take a rocket scientist to see the rant has merits. People are too sensitive judging the other comments or concerns. Did you build the place? Was this person in your home commenting on what a pigsty it is? No, so why defend something that in reality has nothing to do with you. , unless of course it is your children unsupervised at all hours at night, and you have the 25 people crammed in your apartment. Funny thing is because you live in your little world with other people around you (very close), your lifestyle if not respectful of those around you, does cause others grief..no matter where you live on Maui or beyond. To think otherwise is foolish.

  • do something

    Hey mayor/county of maui their calling you guys out. Come and address them.

    • Auntie

      EXACTLY….lets get the people who “say” they have some power…it is election time, to shut up and show up for the people who actually generate money for Maui.

  • Mikey

    ” Daily there are multiple children playing in the streets with no parental supervision.”
    Describes my childhood in the Lahaina Westside Hood perfectly and I turned out okay!

    • Phoebus

      So you say…

  • Mikey

    This writer is trying to be Maui’s version of Jacob Riis author of “how the other half lives.” Does not apply in this case. I pass by here on the bus everyday and it sure does not appear to be as this author writes.

  • Mikey

    Not your business if I choose to let a friend down on his luck to bring his sleeping bag and share dinner and a place to sleep at my home. Linda, you are a condescending jerk!

    • Phoebus

      True dat! Giving has immense rewards…

  • Auntie

    HOW DO YOU SPELL…..SLUM LORDS? How about the hidden Board of Directors for this non-profit? Come out come out where ever you are? Cowards, probably don’t live here on the island. Or your so high up the food chain, this is your tax deduction and cause celeb? Maybe you are my senator or council rep?

    • Phoebus

      I thought HMOW was funded by the County of Maui (taxpayers) and “managed” locally?

    • TSL

      All federal HUD money go’s through the county of Maui!At least we know there paying there tax’s on that easy money!

      • Auntie

        but the missing millions of other funds? HMOW is being cut to the bone, the CFO and the COO, the board of directors hired them, they are the henchmen, and the retired quickly past CEO, its a bloody mess, and the residents are getting the … they are picking every penny they can out of our collective pockets…we are paying them to screw us.

  • James O JayJay Brown II

    I wen live Hale Makana 10 years and clearly da writer has no idea wut da “hood” is. Hale Makana–Not….

  • Ab

    Some apartments have so many people in them they sleep on the balcony these conditions are a health hazard and if there is a fire people are going to die including children. Thats why there are health codes! This piece is bringing this to light so something can be done about it.

  • Auntie

    In the apt next to me, one family applied, 3 adults, 4 children, they got the apt. Now this apt is full of different men and women and children every night, 10 or 12 some nights, that family, have not seen them again. The management knows, they do not do anything, hard to prove if you have no one checking from the management, and it becomes neighbor against neighbor. They have house rules but absolutely no way to enforce them because the board of directors has cut so much money from the staff. Anyone, who knows how to take advantage…they are taking advantage. The staff is totally being buried alive, and taking all the blame. Where is the 1/4 million dollars in rent we pay, as a whole, where is that going? I agree, a fire breaks out, we are all toast.

    • Phoebus

      Yikes! Would directly petitioning the Mayor and County Council spur some action?

      • Auntie

        Maui county council should be the next step for this process, yes, but the board of directors, for HMOW, the second in charge, is a sitting council member, one running again now… there is a meeting set this week

        • Phoebus

          Oh, so the Council should already be on it, only they’re not. Conflict of interest, much?

          • Auntie

            pretty smart…the council is covered for when a problem pops up, they ( the board of directors) have everything nailed down, they get the heads up, the problems never get solved, they end up in an endless, no one is responsible, not even the Mayor who is protected by the endless cycle of meetings.

          • Phoebus

            Is there anything like a residents’ assn that could amass the impact of a group to lobby for change? Power in numbers, as they say.

  • Auntie

    that’s a 1/4 million dollars, rent alone, being paid in one month!!!!

  • Guest

    FB comment by Heidi Medeiros Ay the shelters are the worst especially lahaina CROOKS
    Heidi, tell us about the Lahaina shelter. We are thinking of moving our family there. What is the 411?

  • Phoebus

    Not that it matters, but unless my powers of observation are sorely lacking, it’s not only the wonderful group of Hawaiians getting screwed at HMOW…

    • Auntie

      here here…yes. No one should feel they have to do bad things to keep, their job, to make enough money, to have enough personal power… everyone is harmed….especially the one’s doing the bad.

  • Bradah Ry

    The hood huh? Geeeez not even close as happy valley. The real hood.

  • Kyra Frate

    Wow many people have generally taken this opinion out of context. All the writer is saying is that she lives in a place that makes her feel unsafe. That can be said about almost any housing complex from wealthy to “hood”. The problems vary in degree but they still exist. I know people who have lived and work there personally and can honestly say most do their jobs!


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