Online auction for Puna housing units closed

April 27, 2017 By JEFF HANSEL Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The online auction for a group of longstanding housing units in Pahoa has ended.

The HOPE Services board of directors put the 20 16-by-12-foot units and one 16-by-14-foot unit up for sale on the auction site biddingowl.com.

The sale ended Saturday with a bid of $26,500 from an anonymous buyer, according to HOPE Services volunteer coordinator Malu Debus. The Tribune-Herald was unable to contact the buyer.

The average purchase price per unit was $1,262.

HOPE Services set the minimum bid for the “as is” structures at $10,000, or $476 per unit.

The structures languished, sitting idle and subject to vandalism and weathering, for years.

 HOPE Services previously planned to use them as housing for the homeless, but the organization learned — from a request for proposals to renovate the structures — that it would be cheaper to build new ones.

The organization raised almost $400,000 to do so. It leased a 14.5-acre agricultural lot from the Catholic Diocese to build affordable housing.

The plan includes seeking community input before construction.

Debus said the auction proceeds will be used for “future affordable housing in Pahoa.”

The units sold went as a single lot and must be paid for by Friday and removed from diocese grounds by May 26. Debus said the purchaser will be able to move the structures by that deadline.

Email Jeff Hansel at jhansel@hawaiitribune-herald.com.