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President's Message (Evelyn Bender)
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Take Back the System
Year End Reports
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Bylaw Change Adopted
New State Directors Listed
Look at Leasehold (Jim Koshi)
Health Care Study Commences
1991-1992 Calendar

A Look at Leasehold

Jim Koshi lives in a condominium. He has long been interested in the question of leasehold condominiums and coops and has provided his thoughts -found below.

This is the first of several personal articles on the subject which is one of League's new study areas. If this article or succeeding ones peak your interest, come forward and join the study committee. Call Vice-President Romayne Karl (2621378) to put your name on the committee roster.

The League of Women Voters of Hawaii at its Convention voted to study the very controversial subject of Leasehold Condominiums and Cooperatives. The League realizes that a reliable home is one of man's basic needs. The League would like to find out whether or not there is a serious problem in Hawaii in meeting that need, and if there is a problem, how could it be resolved.

It is stated that in Hawaii there are more than 100,000 condominium and cooperative residential units and more than half of them are on leased land. And that the land area upon which these units exist is in comparatively few hands.

Three major characteristics of most of the leasehold leases are: 1.) The lessee "owns" the condo or coop but not the land it sits on; 2.) The lease rent paid to the lessor, at a certain point, is generally subject to unpredictable increases; and 3.) At the end of the lease the condo or coop must be turned over to the land owner. These three characteristics eventually become significant destabilizing and frustrating factors related to future of home ownership.

The lessees would like to: 1.) Be able to own the land; 2.) Have some kind of control on lease rent increases; and 3.) Eliminate the "surrender" clause. At first glance the issues may look relatively simple. However, emotions and personalities have become involved. Facts and values need to be sorted out impartially.

The League of Women Voters is willing to attempt to make the necessary contribution to this very important issue. The League solicits help from all interested individuals. Please help; the issue must be solved. There are too many people living on leasehold properties wondering what will happen to their home in the future.

Jim Koshi

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