Workforce housing opens

PRINCEVILLE — A blessing was held Thursday to mark the opening of Kolopua, a workforce-housing complex in Princeville.

Located just up the road from Princeville Center, the project adds 44 rental units to the island’s inventory with 16 one-bedroom, 16 two-bedroom and 12 three-bedroom apartments ranging in size from 745 to 1,128 square feet.

“We are so excited that our working people now have an affordable place to live in on the North Shore that’s close to where they work. This makes it possible for them to live, work and play in one location, which is so convenient for them,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.

The mayor also noted that the project will remain affordable in perpetuity so future generations will benefit from it as well.

Occupancy is restricted by income limits to households at or below 60 percent of the Kauai median household income — one person, $38,160 and two people, $43,620.

Rents will not exceed the 60-percent affordable rent guidelines established annually by the U.S. Housing and Urban Development limits.

Vitus Group, Inc. and a nonprofit affiliate of EAH Housing are general partners in Kolopua, sharing a vison in well-designed and sustainable affordable housing. Led by Makani Maeva, the partners are also developing the second phase of Kanikoo, a senior housing project in Lihue.

“As the great Winston Churchill once said, ‘We shape our buildings; therefore they shape us,’” said Maeva. “Great projects come to fruition with many hands through collaboration, problem solving and perseverance.”

Key partners that brought Kolopua to fruition include: the County Council; County Housing Agency; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. and the Planning Commission.

Some of the amenities that Kolopua residents enjoy include: solar water heaters; Energy Star appliances; water saving plumbing fixtures and ceiling fans.

Kolopua is in line with the Mayor’s Holo Holo 2020 vision for Kauai. His vision calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kauai to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values the native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy and has a responsible and user-friendly local government.

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