Construction to begin on 24-unit project in ʻEleʻele for homeless
The Kauaʻi County Housing Agency held a blessing on Tuesday to mark the start of construction for the 24-unit Lima Ola Supportive Housing Project in ‘Ele‘ele.
The project will provide low-cost studio and one-bedroom units for people who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. It is modeled after the Kealaula Supportive Housing Project on Pua Loke Street in Līhu‘e.
Tenants will receive on-site social services to assist them in getting back on their feet and prepare them to move to more permanent housing. While living in supportive housing is not intended to be permanent, it does not have a strict time limit to stay — unlike models of traditional, transitional housing.
The small units range from 240 to 400 square feet. The project also will include a community building with offices, a reception area and laundry facilities.
“When we broke ground for Lima Ola Phase One in 2020, all we could physically see on this entire 75-acre site was a lot of tall grass and red dirt,” Kauaʻi County Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami said. “Yet, we knew that one day we would see a place for our keiki to grow up, a place for our kupuna to thrive, a place for those struggling to find help, and a place for so many to finally call home.
“Today, we are one step closer to seeing that dream become a reality. As housing continues to be a critical need throughout our island, we celebrate this huge leap forward today, and thank all involved for your hard work and continued efforts which offer hope to our people.”
The blessing was officiated by cultural practitioner Aletha Kaohi, and attended by about 50 individuals, including Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green, Senate President Ronald Kouchi, members of the Kaua‘i County Council and Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation Interim Executive Director Dean Minakami.
“Addressing homelessness and creating more affordable housing in Hawai‘i takes compassion, leadership and united action from all aspects and organizations,” Green said.
The $4.37 million project’s design and construction is funded by a combination of American Rescue Plan Act and State and Local Recovery Funds, Home-American Rescue Plan funds and county housing development funds
The contractor is Shioi Construction. The is estimated completion date is the first quarter of 2024.