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Friday, February 7, 2014

Contact:  Jesse Broder Van Dyke 489-0341


Update on ORIAH negotiations


Honolulu Today, Managing Director Ember Lee Shinn sent a response to Mr. Mark A. Chandler, Director of the Honolulu Field Office of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is attached to this press release.  Managing Director Shinn issued the following statement:


"Since receiving the letter from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in June 2013, the City has improved its CDBG program and, with regard to ORI Anuenue Hale, Inc. (ORIAH), the City has made significant efforts to propose solutions that would allow the parties to resolve past disagreements and work together more effectively to increase the services to the seniors and disabled adults that the Aloha Gardens Project was designed to serve.  HUD has also worked with the City in proposing alternative solutions to ORIAH, including subdividing the Aloha Gardens Project and focusing on achieving the CDBG objectives through ORIAH's Wellness Center.


"Regrettably, ORIAH is not willing to make any contribution to the reimbursement to HUD which is a condition to changing the existing agreement with HUD, and the next step in HUD's process may be referral of this matter for enforcement.  This is disappointing because during the last six months, ORIAH has made tremendous progress in demonstrating its ability to meet the CDBG goals and serve the target population for which the facilities were designed.  The City believes that litigating the past disagreements between HUD, ORIAH and the City will not benefit, and is not in the best interests of, the community that is being served by the project.  Unfortunately, in the absence of a willingness by ORIAH to amicably resolve this matter, the City is unable to reach agreement with HUD."


Letter to HUD here.



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