KOLOA — Fifty Kaua‘i families will soon be able to rent affordable housing on the South Shore.
Ground was broken Thursday for Pa‘anau Village, Phase II, in Koloa. Located just across the street from Koloa Elementary School and adjacent to Pa‘anau Village, Phase I, the construction of the $13.8 million affordable housing project adds 50 rental units to the Kaua‘i inventory, states a county release.
The first phase of the Koloa housing project was completed in 1994. Some 60 families currently live there.
“This project is being built during a time when many construction workers are in need of jobs,” said John Frazier, director of the Kaua‘i Housing Development Corp. “Priority for this project is being given to local Kaua‘i workers.”
Conrad Murashige, president of Shioi Construction, contractor for the project, said although Kaua‘i is at about 9 percent unemployment overall, in the construction industry that figure is more than 70 percent and the project presents a tremendous opportunity for putting workers back on the job.
Dennis Nakahara, board president of KHDC, said land for the project was provided by Kukui‘ula Development Co. and A&B Hawai‘i. He said the project will stimulate local business, infuse jobs into the community and be a step toward more environmentally friendly development.
“This is the most important work we do for the community,” said JoAnn Yukimura, vice chair of the Kaua‘i County Council and chair of the Housing Committee. “It’s safe, healthy and energy efficient, close to the school and transit lines. When people have a safe place to live, the community grows.”
Pa‘anau Village, Phase II, is considered one of the greenest, least toxic affordable housing projects in the state, the county release states.
Among the list of green features planned for the project are Energy Star appliances and lighting fixtures, solar hot water heating, solar parking lot lighting, water conserving plumbing including toilets and showerheads, building oriented so each will take advantage of natural ventilation, low volatile organic compound paints and sealants, a photovoltaic system for the community center and a recycling area for tenant-generated cardboard and other materials.
Other features of the housing development include granite counter tops, a washer and dryer in each unit, ceiling fans in every room and storage closets on the lanai.
Occupancy is limited to households at or below 60 percent of the Kaua‘i median household income limits, the county release states.
The limits are $35,580 for one-person households, $40,620 for two-people families, $45,720 for families of three, $50,760 for four people, $54,840 for five people and $58,920 for six people.
The 50-unit rental complex will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with three ground level units designed for mobility- and sensory-impaired tenants. The remaining first floor apartments are adaptable for the mobility-impaired. Rents will be $650, $750 and $850 per month.
Even as ground was broken on the latest affordable housing project, some applications have been accepted and KHDC has started the process of taking names of income-qualified prospective tenants, said Pamela Brown, the event coordinator.
Applications will be formally accepted in early 2012, and if there are more than 50 applications, a lottery will be held to determine who the charter residents will be. An announcement will be made once the dates for applications are confirmed, the county release states.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.