Lowell Kalapa

Posted On January 22nd, 2014 -

1-22  591113-01  Lowell Kalapa 1-22-14To the memory of Lowell Kalapa, The board of directors for Pauahi Block A Non Profit Housing Corporation, DBA, Hale Pauahi Towers, wishes to acknowledge that we will forever be grateful to Lowell’s 28-years of service, 18 of which were served as board president. We are just one out of the many non-profit organizations that benefited by having Lowell on our board. We stand proud to have had Lowell as our president who has guided Hale Pauahi Towers to be one of the most successful affordable housing projects built in Honolulu and we publish this article as recognition to a dear friend. Lowell and Finances: Many people in the community are aware of how Lowell practiced and preached fiscal responsibility, both in the private and public sector. In our case he led a board of directors that insured every dollar was spent wisely and it brought back value to the building and residents. We are certain he would not approve of this expenditure of buying ad space in the paper; however, this is such a small gesture to recognize a man that gave so much to so many. Lowell and the Community: Lowell was a major contributor in bringing the community together for a common goal and their efforts were successful by being awarded the first Weed and Seed grant on Oahu. Lowell was associated with many of the non-profit organizations that donated their time and efforts working alongside the community to make this possible. The federally backed program brought hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Chinatown/Kalihi/Palama area. Hale Pauahi Towers was proud to be a part of this accomplishment. Lowell continued to take part in this program establishing two more Weed and Seed communities on Oahu. Lowell and Affordable Housing: Hale Pauahi Towers is a 396 hi-rise apartment complex, providing housing to over 1,614 people per year. In Lowell’s words as he once wrote in a letter to a federal agency: “It has always been our intention to provide safe and decent housing to those in our community who cannot afford the high cost of housing that plagues the Honolulu community. We are also committed to providing housing that meets a high standard of quality, a place that its residents could be proud that they live here and yet remain within their financial reach.” The board of directors, with Lowell as president, has been successful in this endeavor, providing to the community a quality apartment complex with reasonable rent. The board has never defined affordable by their requirement, which is to maintain 51% of the apartments for household at or below 80% of the area median income. The fact is the board recently defined affordable by setting the rental rates for 202 apartments at levels that would be affordable to households making at or below 35% of area median income, plus or minus depending if you use the 2013 HUD or Multifamily Tax Subsidy guidelines. For those interested in the specifics, the rent for a 1-bdrm is $643, the 2-bdrms is $771, and 3-bdrms is $891 and Hale Pauahi receives no subsidy in keeping rents this low. The board’s commitment to create affordable housing also extends to the remaining 194 market apartments, keeping the rents affordable for households making less than 60% of the area median income without benefiting from any type of low income tax credit subsidy. Lowell and Networking: Lowell accomplished so many good things such as recruiting qualified board members for organizations to bridging relationships throughout the community. A simple conversation with Lowell would be all it took to make things begin to happen. The following is just a few of the success he made possible: ” As acting Board President of Hale Pauahi Towers and Hale Kipa, a private non-profit organization that serves and supports youths in Hawaii, Lowell was successful in guiding Hale Pauahi Towers through the regulatory challenges in order to set aside a certain number of apartments to Hale Kipa to be used as transitional housing for homeless young adults. ” A school service learning project that shares the gift of reading came to fruition between two school organizations, St. Ann Model School in Kaneohe and the Parents and Children Together (PACT) Head Start program at Kuhio Park Terrace, which Lowell was associated with. Students in a classroom at St. Ann Model School aised over a thousand dollars each year by reading books for pledges and then use the money to purchase books that they personally deliver to preschool children in the Head Start program. This has been established for over 6-years and continues today. ” He helped in setting up workshops between Hale Pauahi Towers and the Public Housing Authority to discuss and demonstrate best practices for affordable housing. ” He was always coordinating and arranging tours at Hale Pauahi Towers for government agencies, non-profit organizations, developers and people interested in affordable housing. ” At the request of the U.S. Department of Justice and Salvation Army he arranged for housing for witnesses that were assisting the Attorney General Office in a high profile criminal case. Lowell and Hale Pauahi Towers: Hale Pauahi Towers has had only two presidents in the last 28 years. Lowell, without hesitation stepped into the role of president at the request of Valerie Trotter, the former president who spearheaded and oversaw the development of Hale Pauahi Towers. Ms. Trotter continued to be an active board member as vice president and was recently appointed director emeritus. Lowell had strong supporters on the board both past and present. The current board of directors consists of Mr. Emery Wong, Ms. Yvonne Izu, Mr. Bob Ogawa, Mr. Robert Tong Sr., and Ms. Jewell Tuitele. Lowell had a gift of communicating a clear and precise vision, empowering the people within the organization and making the board’s vision a reality. They have all volunteered countless hours in not only making Hale Pauahi Towers affordable but have also created an exceptional place to live and work. Lowell was well respected and comfortable with speaking with government leaders at the highest levels and equally admired by the employees at Hale Pauahi Towers. He cared highly about the employees, he would allow time to attend an employee’s child graduation luau, or visit during an employee potluck always showing respect and appreciation for their efforts. He got to know the employees and would boast of their accomplishments while he toured the property with public and private officials. Lowell and the void that he leaves: It seemed as if Hale Pauahi Towers was Lowell’s only involvement; however, the truth is he volunteered and devoted his life to so many other organizations sharing his passion and energy towards doing good in Hawaii. The board is honored to have had Lowell as our President and we will cherish the time we spent with him. We will certainly miss a dear friend.

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