Big Island builders design turn-key modular homes for low-income families

Updated: Jul. 25, 2019 at 1:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In response to the state’s worsening housing crisis, a team of Big Island builders has created a turn-key home that low-income families can actually afford.

The idea came from Gilbert Aguinaldo. He’s the man who spearheaded construction of a village for lava evacuees last year in Pahoa.

Now, he’s teamed up with HPM Building Supply to make his vision a reality. This time, the goal is to make homeownership within reach for Hawaii Island’s working families.

“We wanted people to be able to start off with something they could afford. Knowing the design behind it would allow them to expand over time,” said Jason Fujimoto, HPM Building Supply, CEO.

The base model is 630 square feet.

Inside there’s a bedroom, full bathroom, kitchen, living room and covered lanai. All appliances are also included. Pricing starts at just under $100,000.

What’s different is that it’s designed with flexibility in mind.

“All of the openings are standard openings but also multipurpose,” said Fujimoto. “They’re meant to be easily popped out down the road. You can basically connect another bedroom, another bedroom suite, a sunroom, different things.”

Brandee Menino heads up Hope Services, Hawaii Island’s largest homeless service provider. She says there simply aren’t enough homes on the island to end the homeless crisis there.

“This could be the home you live in forever,” said Menino. “This is going to be a real viable option for low income families. You have housing within reach. But also it can help to create a more robust rental market in our community.”

All of the modular homes are being manufactured in Keaau.

The first 12 are going up on a plot of land behind the Sacred Heart shelter. It’s part of an affordable housing project for Pahoa’s kupuna.

HPM Building Supply confirms homes will be available to the public next year.

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