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Kahuku Village Families Continue Signing Petition Letter to Landlord

Kahuku Sugar Mill families, living in plantation homes, want to continue to have the Kahuku Village Association represent them in dealings with the property owner, Continental Pacific, LLC. 55 tenants in Kahuku Village have signed a letter to their landowner during the past week requesting that Continental Pacific continue negotiating with the Kahuku Village Association to find a way for the families to afford to stay in the homes.

On May 2, 2011, Continental Pacific sent a letter demanding that the Kahuku Village Association, which manages the village and owns most of the homes, terminate the land leases of all the families by July 31, 2011. As a result, more than 300 people face an uncertain future with the potential of being evicted; the homes that they live in being demolished; their community being torn apart at its seams; and being forced to enter into direct leases with Continental Pacific causing many families to worry if they will still be able to afford their rent.

The Kahuku Village Association collects rent from each tenant and then has consistently paid its master lease rent to Continental Pacific. The Association has worked in good faith to seek a resolution with Continental Pacific that would allow the families to continue to live in their homes.

“The Kahuku Village Association is the best way for these families, as a community, to afford to continue living in their homes,” said Deborah Sarsona, Kahuku Village Association manager. “We are not asking for charity here, we have resources if we can get a fair and firm offer from Continental Pacific.”

Kahuku Village Association has continued to seek a fair solution but Continental Pacific has not yet made clear its long-term intentions for the property. In fact, its plans have changed several times since it bought the property in 2006 and as the plans changed the worry has increased for the families.

“We are asking ourselves, after five years of working toward the goal of affordable ownership for the plantation families, why Continental Pacific would drop Kahuku Village Association, this can’t be good news for the families,” said Jim Leonardi, vice chair of Kahuku Village Association.

Solutions are not easy and there are many obstacles to overcome with the landowner, the city, securing financing and changing economic conditions. Despite that, the Kahuku Village Association is continuing its efforts to resolve the problems and find a way for the working families to remain in their homes in the future. The Kahuku Village Association has assets that it is willing to use to purchase either all or part of the land.

“This is not the way things are done in Hawaii,” said Noreen Cristobal, Kahuku Village Association board president. “It just isn’t pono.”


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