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Kaloko Housing Project breaks ground

Groundbreaking ceremony Monday, June 28 for the Kaloko Housing Project on HIna Lani Street. From left are Leslie Isemoto of Isemoto Contracting Co., county housing administrator Steve Arnett, Mel Choy of MS Architecture, Elizabeth Maluihi Lee, Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell and Mayor Billy Kenoi. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

The county Office of Housing and Community Development and its partners broke ground Monday, June 28 on the Kaloko Housing Project at the project site on Hina Lani Street.

The $12.4 million Kaloko Housing Project will be a 96-unit complex, and will replace the Ka Hale O Kawaihae Transitional Housing Program. The initial phases of the Kaloko complex will include 12 transitional housing apartments and 28 apartments for low‑income residents.

The first units will be ready by the fourth quarter of 2011, although county officials hope that timeline may be moved up.

Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell said it was an emotional day for him.

“This is one of the most rewarding opportunities in my career as a councilman,” he said. “There are a lot of people who ned this. Nothing could make me prouder.”

Jeremy McComber, county division chief of the Office of Housing and Community Development, said he is eager for the construction phase begin.

“It’s a critically and urgently needed program,” he said.

Kahu Kaniela Akaka conducts the blessing at Kaloko Housing Project. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

The Kaloko Housing Project will serve low-income families with children. The transitional units will serve only homeless families, while the rentals will serve low-income families with a preference for families that are homeless or at risk for homelessness.

Families living at the complex will be provided an array of services such as assistance with budgeting, parenting classes, job training, child care assistance and other counseling.

“This project represents a collaboration by many of our partners in the community, and is an important addition to the social service safety net in Kona,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said. “I asked that we not talk about housing in West Hawaii. We need to build housing in West Hawaii.”

The project demonstrates a commitment on the part of the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the state’s Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation and the county to improve the quality of transitional housing and expand the supply of affordable rentals in West Hawaii, Kenoi said.

Each apartment will have two bedrooms, one bathroom, kitchen and living room.

The 3,600-square-foot community center will include two bathrooms, laundry facilities, a common kitchen and meeting area, administrative offices for the facility operator, and a dividable multi‑purpose room for classes and meetings.

County Office of Housing and Community Development administrator Steve Arnett said the community center also will allow other providers to offer their services.

The initial phases of the project will also include a wastewater treatment plant. A 15,000-square-foot warehouse and additional housing units are planned for future phases.

The Kaloko project is being funded with a U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Neighborhood Stabilization Fund Grant of $4,877,800 that was awarded through the state’s Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation; and County Capital Improvement funding totaling $7,500,000.

Isemoto Contracting Co., Ltd. is scheduled to begin site work in July, and begin construction of the housing units and community center in November.

A request for proposals will be published the first week of July to accept construction bids for the waste water treatment plant, with construction scheduled to begin in November.

This is the second project to break ground in Kona in the past year that will assist in housing the homeless.

The Office of Housing and Community Development broke ground in June 2009 for its first emergency shelter for the homeless in West Hawaii. The 31-bed emergency shelter in the Kailua-Kona old industrial area is scheduled for completion in October 2010.

The Kaloko Housing Project site plan. (Hawaii 24/7 photo by Karin Stanton)

5 Responses to “Kaloko Housing Project breaks ground”

  1. August says:

    Another Prison-Like concentration camp for poor families.

    • Hawaii's Blessing says:

      Negativity is what reflects bad energy & bad comments that are truly not needed.

      We are thankful and very greatful for all the opportunity that are offered for assistance with the less unforturnate in Hawaii, we are in a transitional point with-in our lives that we didn’t ask or plan things to happen that way. But such is life, and we are able and willing to better our lives one day at a time, and with assistance as to the Kaloko Housing Project. “WE ARE THANKFUL, GREATFUL & APPRECIATED”

      So, please keep your negative comments to yourself – because who knows: one day it might be you or someone you might know…..luvs & kisses filled with ALOHA.

  2. val fujino says:

    how can we obtain an application for kaloko housing coming up

  3. valerie says:

    aloha i an interested in applying for this project a family of three.

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