Military families grapple with the new reality of life in Waikiki hotel rooms


HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Thousands of displaced residents affected by the Navy’s contaminated water system are now facing the new reality of living in hotel rooms in Waikiki.

Cheri Burness, who lives in military accommodation in Radford Terrace, says this temporary living situation is far from ideal.

“Nothing is normal at all,” Burness said. “Everything is stressful and just plain unreasonable. “

It’s been a week since Burness and her teenage children entered a hotel room in Waikiki.

She was able to take clothes and kitchen utensils. The room has a mini fridge, but that’s about it.

Burness said she had to buy a microwave on Sunday because her only option was to eat out.

“It’s different for us so I can’t do that anymore,” said Burness.

The military also provides transportation services for students, but Burness said she didn’t want to depend on the Navy more than she needed to.

“I go back and forth in traffic every day,” Burness said. “I spend an hour taking my children. You know, we get up really early every morning to drive and drop a kid off at school and bring the next kid to school and come back here. And then sit for a few hours and then go back.

In a town hall on Tuesday, the Navy said that at the end of the week, 322 hotel rooms currently occupied by displaced residents in Waikiki will have to move to various hotels.

“The reason for this change is due to the initial contracts that have been developed and hotels that have no capacity at this stage, or to be able to adapt beyond these dates,” said CMC Melvin Isom of NAVSUP FLT Pearl Harbor.

Currently, the military pays for rooms until January 4.

Displaced residents may also receive Temporary Housing Allowance (TLA).

“We found out that there were accommodation increases from December 17th to January 5th and this is a base of $ 312. The Navy promises that TLA claims will be reimbursed within 96 hours, ”said LCDR Kelly Agha, of the OIC Personnel Support Detachment at Pearl Harbor.

“They tell us how to make a return to get their money back and they’ve set up a task force to give us a good Christmas,” Burness said.

For questions regarding temporary housing, call 808-789-5298 or visit the JBPHH website.

Copyright 2021 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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