GHURA cancels Guma Trankilidat negotiations - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

GHURA cancels Guma Trankilidat negotiations

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by Michele Catahay

Guam - Strong opposition from the residents at the Guma Trankilidat housing facility to move out and build a bigger one has forced the Government of Guam to scrap the entire project all together. The Guam Housing and Urban Renewal Authority has cancelled all negotiations with Ironwood Village Guam.

For the past two years, residents living at Guma Trankilidat have said they don't want GovGuam to move them out of their existing facility to create a five-story complex to accommodate more of the island's beloved man'amko.  Resident Clella Champaco says that plan never made any sensesaying, "I think it'll be a big mistake to demolish this place and to rebuild. I mean, I think we would be wasting money."

While GHURA came up with the multi-story housing plan in 2008 to expand the area from 49 units to about 200, just recently the agency scrapped the project. GHURA Acting Executive Director Raymond Blas says they informed Ironwood Village Guam that negotiations were off the table, but couldn't tell us why.

"The only thing I can inform you right now is that we have terminated all negotiations regarding the Guma Trankilidat. That's all I'm going to say right now," adding, "it's a decision among the board of commissioners and our legal counsel and our people in GHURA."

According to Blas, the board made the decision to stop negotiations effective April 1. The project spurred some controversy from residents who spoke out against the move. Even Democrat senator Ben Pangelinan introduced a bill that would have prevented the project from moving forward.

In the meantime, Guma Trankilidat resident Adrian Rojo says he will continue to fight to remain in his unit, "Ironwood said they would demolish it and put another five stories. I tell them if they want to take a look at the other side - the hotel - it's like a prison. We could not go out and we cannot plant anything. This one is good for the man'amko, anytime we can go out, we can plant something; plant vegetables. I told them I want to stay here as long as I live."

For the time being, despite GHURA's decision to cancel negotiations, Carlos Camacho from Ironwood Village Guam says his company will continue to work to provide affordable housing for the people of Guam. He says this was an option put on the table to help providing housing for the island's elderly.

Senator Pangelinan issued a press release late this afternoon, saying he's pleased with GHURA's decision. In fact, he says the agency has also provided information on a proposed project for 72 town homes for the elderly, single and family units in the vicinity of Ypao Road in Tamuning.

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