‘ELE‘ELE — The County Housing Agency held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Lima Ola affordable housing project in ‘Ele‘ele last week.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank the many partners and the prior administrations involved in this very important project for our island,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami.
“Lima Ola started with a vision by the late Mayor Bryan J. Baptiste, and developed through the leadership of former Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. We would not be here today without the relationships built during those years, along with the many community members who participated in the planning and permitting stages,” Kawakami said.
“We need affordable housing now more than ever. That’s why I’m humbled to be part of this team who will now take this project through to the finish line.”
The ceremony marked the start of the first phase of the housing project, which will entail the mass grading of the 75-acre site, installing utilities and infrastructure and upgrading and installing a traffic light at Kaumuali‘i Highway.
When complete, Lima Ola phase one will consist of 150 homes. The total project, spanning four phases, will result in 550 new multi-family and single-family affordable housing units.
Earthworks Pacific Inc. is the contractor for Lima Ola phase one, which is anticipated to be completed by 2022.
“Mahalo to the housing agency staff, Alexander &Baldwin, Kaua‘i Coffee, and the Westside community for your continued commitment to creating affordable-housing opportunities for our local families,” said Adam Roversi, CHA director.
”This is the single largest affordable-housing project that the county has ever undertaken, and it is only made possible by the hard work and cooperation of numerous county and state partners.”
The CHA worked with the state Hawai‘i Housing Finance Development Corporation and state Senate President Ron Kouchi’s office to secure a $13 million dwelling-unit revolving loan for Lima Ola. The total cost of Lima Ola phase one is $15.6 million, with the remaining budget appropriated from the county capital improvement projects bond fund.
Lima Ola will incorporate solar, gas and various energy cost-cutting strategies, making it the county’s first green affordable housing project.
The project will also provide a “built environment” that promotes healthier lifestyles and sustainable living by creating connections to surrounding neighborhoods and bringing greater economic vitality, civic energy and strengthening the area’s sense of community, according to a county press release.
This includes a community center and park, multi-use paths that will provide pedestrian and cycling options for transportation and exercise, a new and improved bus stop accessible from the multi-use path, and highway improvements to enhance pedestrian safety and access to ‘Ele‘ele School and businesses.
For more information on the project, contact the CHA, 241-4444.