New county housing director named

LIHU‘E — Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. announced Tuesday the appointment of Frederick Kamuela Cobb-Adams, a former executive with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL), as the county’s new housing director effective June 1.

Cobb-Adams will replace Eugene Jimenez who retired earlier this month.

“Kamuela brings a wealth of experience and a fresh perspective to the county,” said Carvalho. “I know that he will be a great asset in our mission to provide safe, affordable housing for all.”

A major initiative of the Housing Agency is the development of the Lima Ola “green” affordable housing project slated for ‘Ele‘ele. A master plan for the project was completed in March of this year.

“Lima Ola is one of our Holo Holo 2020 initiatives that will serve as a model project for our state and even beyond our borders,” said the mayor. “Kamuela is ready to dig in and continue to lead our team on this exciting effort.”

Noting that the mayor’s Holo Holo 2020 vision resonated with his personal values, Cobb-Adams said, “It’s a very exciting and comprehensive plan that aims to enhance the lives of the people of Kaua’i, while at the same time maintain the island’s unique identity. I am especially energized with the opportunity to be a part of this effort, and to develop homes that blend traditional and contemporary eco-friendly aspects that foster sustainable lifestyles, as well as create a sense of community.

“I also want to ensure that the other core programs administered by the Housing Agency, Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, and Home-Buyer Loan Programs continue to effectively deliver assistance to lower income persons and families in our community.”

Cobb-Adams is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and received a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Hawai‘i. He worked for DHHL from 2004 to 2010 as a project manager, branch chief and acting administrator.

After leaving DHHL, Cobb-Adams served as the executive director for Kahuku Housing Foundation and most recently president of GSI Americas Inc., an alternative energy firm.

Cobb-Adams takes over leadership of the Housing Agency from Jimenez, who worked for the county in various capacities under six mayors. He served as the area planner for the Agency on Elderly Affairs from 1972 to 1978, deputy director of the Department of Finance from 1994 to 2002, and housing director from 1978 to 1988 and again from 2008 to his recent retirement.

“We are thankful to Eugene for his 29 years of service to the county, and will miss him greatly,” Carvalho said.

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