Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hawaii Workforce Housing, Affordable Housing, and Homeless Shelter Projects in the News

Workforce Housing.

Built on 279 acres of Hawaii County owned land, UniDev Hawaii LLC plans to build 1,200 units of workforce housing homes for West Hawaii resort employees, which will increase the size of Waikoloa Village by 50 percent. The project include a mix of fee simple ownership and rentals. (See, Star Bulletin, Dec. 25, 2007.) Opponents of a similar project in the State of New York unfavorably cite the financing scheme of the Waikoloa project. The NY developer is using Waikoloa’s financing model, which allows the city to pay developers with federal tax-exempt bonds that are typically designated for construction by nonprofit entities, or 501(c)(3) organizations. (See, NY Daily News, Dec. 11, 2007.)

Affordable Housing.

Ma'alaea Properties LLC is planning to build 380 affordable units as part of its project called Ma'alaea Mauka, which is proposed for 257 acres of former sugar-cane fields south of Wailuku on the Island of Maui. The project is in its early stages and is met with opposition from the County. (See, Honolulu Advertiser, Dec. 19, 007.)

A Department of Hawaiian Home Lands project on the Island of Maui provides 86 houses being built by developer Dowling Co., with 12 additional lots awarded to families who will build homes with the assistance of Habitat for Humanity. (See, Maui News, Dec. 15, 2007.)

The State made $1 million in construction money available for 40 more affordable rental units at Kalepa Village in Hanama'ulu, Kauai. (See, Honolulu Advertiser, Dec. 24, 2007.)

Homeless Shelters.

A former Lihu'e, Kauai courthouse was renovated into 19 transitional housing units. Participating families are required to develop plans to address their housing needs and finances, create a budget, make monthly deposits in a savings account, meet with a case manager and complete a training program. (See, Kauai Garden Island, Dec. 21, 2007.)

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