State roundup for January 7
$142M housing deal in jeopardy
HONOLULU (AP) — A deal to buy Honolulu’s 1,000 affordable housing apartment units is in jeopardy, and city officials are worried about losing the $20 million the sale would generate.
Honolulu is depending on the sale to help balance its budget. City officials are giving the buyer until Monday to show that it can complete the deal. Buyers, however, say lenders are balking at the $142 million transaction after the City Council introduced a bill to kill the sale.
“We intend to continue to work with the buyer to determine if anything, anything, anything can be done to save the sale and close by March 31,” said city Managing Director Ember Shinn.
Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners has been trying to buy the city’s 12 affordable housing complexes for nearly two years.
Tenants fear rents will double over the next five years if the sale goes through.
“The rents are going to go up if this sale closes,” said Jane Pascual, who has lived at Chinatown Gateway Plaza for about four years. “It will displace residents.”
Tenant Steve Lohse said the deal is unfair to renters.
“They rushed to budget tens of millions of dollars they don’t have,” he said. “This is terribly fiscally irresponsible.”
The city said it’s considering other alternatives, including owner financing, which will be tough given that it would need City Council approval.
If the deal doesn’t go through, the city said it will have to find the money elsewhere or make cuts.
Girl injured in dental visit dies
HONOLULU (AP) — A 3-year-old girl who suffered massive brain damage after being sedated at a Kailua dentist has died.
Hospice Hawaii officials issued a statement Saturday confirming that Finley Puleo Boyle passed away.
According to Hospice Hawaii, she died Friday night just before 9 p.m.
Their attorney said they plan to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Attorney Rick Fried Jr. says a negligence lawsuit filed Monday against dentist Lilly Geyer and Island Dentistry for Children is now moot.
Finley’s parents said she saw Geyer on Dec. 3 and was given high doses of Demerol, hydroxyzine and chloral hydrate, as well as nitrous oxide.
Fried said there’s no evidence all precautions were taken.
An attorney for Geyer said he would not comment because of the pending lawsuit.
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