It isn’t surprising that the city of Honolulu’s low-income housing portfolio has been posting deficits of as much as $6.7 million annually. Efforts to raise rents have continually run into political opposition. Now, Honolulu has come up with a different plan: The city is negotiating to sell 1,257 units to a private group. The privatization of Honolulu public housing comes as many local housing authorities nationwide have been searching for ways to provide affordable housing as government budgets have shrunk. The venture, named Honolulu Affordable Housing Partners, plans to keep most of the units affordable to low- and moderate-income families. But its plans also include rent increases, something that the private venture ought to be able to do without as much political pushback. While in the past governments would develop and maintain large swaths of low-income housing, these days it is much more of a public-private effort.