Monday, July 26, 2010

Pray for Sun

Map: The Honolulu Advertiser
Rep. Karl Rhoads (District 28 - Palama, Chinatown, Downtown, Lower Makiki, Sheridan) recently completed a survey of Mayor Wright Home residents on the availabiity of hot water in their public housing units. He was surprised on two fronts. One is that even after being the district representative since 2006, he had never heard complaints about the lack of hot water until recently. Two is that the lack of hot water is so wide spread and has existed for so long that people have given up complaining to the building manager.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a story last week.
The survey reveals the extent of the problem and the common thread - when it's sunny there is more hot water, and when it rains or is cloudy, there is less to none. That's because the project depends solely on an older solar panel system. The back-up system, which should kick in when there isn't enough sun to generate hot water, broke down years ago and was never fixed.
I got a copy of the survey - these are my calculations. There were 117 units approached.
9.4% or 11/117 said they never have hot water, warm water at best.
22.2% or 26/117 were not home or didn't answer.
21.3% or 25/117 said they had hot water.
47% or 55/117 said they had some hot water, but not all the time.
Rep. Rhoads says he willing to fight for more money at the legislature for repairing the hot water system at Mayor Wright. However, he needs cost estimates from the housing authority and is frustrated that there appears to be no plan to address the problem which has persisted for years.

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