In a remarkable move a Japanese Billionaire Genshiro Kawamato is opening up the doors to luxury living for low income families in Hawaii. Genshiro Kawamato is dedicating 8 of his multimillion dollar homes to low income native Hawaiian families. He is allowing all the families to live rent free for up to 10 years. Kawamoto owns dozens of office buildings in Tokyo under the name Marugen and his been buying and selling real estate in Hawaii and California since the 1980s.
However all has not been a bed of roses for the real estate billionaire. He has been criticized for evicting tenants of his rental homes on short notice so he could sell the properties, in 2002 when he gave hundreds of California tenants 30 days to leave.
Two years later, he served eviction notices to tenants in 27 Oahu rental homes, saying they had to leave within a month. At that time he said he wanted to sell the houses to take advantage of rising prices.
Kawamoto announced his luxury real estate giveaway and asked homeless families in Hawaii to write to him explaining why they should live in one of the luxury homes. He managed to select eight low-income families from 3,000 people who had replied to him. He has said he tried to pick working, single mothers. Asked whether he was concerned about losing money on the effort, he laughed and said: "This is pocket money for me."
The first person to benefit from the generous move was Dorie-Ann Kahale and her five daughters. They make the unique house move from a homeless shelter to a luxury mansion. Tears spilled down Kahale's cheeks as she accepted from Genshiro Kawamoto the key to a white, columned house with a circular driveway, a stone staircase and a deep porcelain bathtub. Her family will live there rent-free, but must pay utility bills.
"I'm shocked. I'm overwhelmed," Kahale said. "From the little box we had to what we have today."
Kawamoto, whose own eyes started welling up as Kahale cried, handed over two other homes Thursday to homeless or low-income families.
Million Dollar real estate
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