In the article, "Search for vacant state land for 'safe zones' comes up empty" [Star Advertiser, Nov. 2], we read how the state was unable to find land in order to create a space for Oahu's homeless.
I wholesomely disagree. One-hundred-sixty acres would be enough land to house every homeless person in the state. There are thousands of acres of underutilized and unutilized parcels of land owned either by the state of Hawaii, counties, or the federal government.
Nonetheless, earlier this month at the Hawaii Interagency Council Safe Zones Working Group hearing, Pua Aiu from the state Department of Land and Natural Resources reported having difficulty finding available land for homeless safe zones.
Unfortunately, all this means is DLNR doesn't have the authority or the will to change the designation of those parcels of land. Therefore, I challenge DLNR to take another look. Residents of Hawaii and the homeless population deserve better. Where is the political will to solve homelessness in this state.
- Rep. Gene Ward,
House District 17