Credit where credit is due.
It’s been reported that the Hawaii Housing Authority has finally figured out how to refurbish trashed apartment units in a very reasonable seven days rather than the old average of 267 days.
HHA has reportedly assembled a team of thirty-five skilled workers who are dedicated to the task of swiftly getting damaged empty units ready for new tenants. Some 500 needy families lined up for a chance to rent one of the units. Plenty more are on the waiting list.
It’s not clear what took HHA so long to figure out this new approach when we’re in the middle of a terrible housing crunch and have the nation’s highest per capita rate of homelessness, or whether this approach is costing taxpayers more or less.
Whatever. The need is obviously there so letting state apartments sit vacant borders on criminal neglect of our citizens. How did it ever get so bad, taking 267 days to refurb an apartment? Was nobody minding the store? Was there some kind of obstruction that’s now been removed? It’s just mind-boggling.
HHA is also starting a subsidy program to provide temporary financial assistance to other tenants so they don’t become homeless. Keeping people housed seems a lot more sensible than stumbling to help them out or chase them around after they end up on the street.
But subsidies can’t last forever, and that line is not really getting shorter, so there’s still a lot of work to do.