‘Top of the line’ tiny homes going up for hundreds displaced by Maui wildfires

"The day after the fire, we started thinking about what we needed to do. So we started planning, preparing, and eventually came up with this idea."
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 11:14 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 20, 2023 at 11:01 AM HST
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KAHULUI (HawaiiNewsNow) - Work is underway in Kahului to create a family village and give hope to survivors of last month’s deadly and devastating wildfires.

“The day after the fire we started thinking about what we needed to do,” said Family Life Center Chief Executive Officer Maude Cumming. “So, we started planning, preparing, and eventually came up with this idea.”

Cumming said 160 single-family shelters “with a home-like feel” have been ordered from Hungary to create Ohana Hope Village off Kuihelani and Maui Veteran’s Highways.

She said most units will double up to fit up to a family of four.


“We looked for a product that would be as fire retardant as possible. So, these are metal walls with foam core inside, and they’re really built well. They’re sturdy,” she said.

In addition to a main living area, the pop-up homes will have kitchens, bathrooms and lanais attached to them.

The overall vision is to have playgrounds, gardens, even a community center.

“We’re really trying to be sensitive,” Cumming said. “It is very personal to us because we have friends and family who were impacted.”

The main mission of Family Life Center is housing people who are homeless. Cumming said they are doing their very best with what they have.

“Totally funded by private donations. We’ve raised about 10% that we need,” she said. “We haven’t had any government support to put this project up and we did that intentionally.”

“We want people to know that this is being set up specifically for them by the people.”

Maui organization says top of the line tiny homes could house wildfire survivors

Family Life Center officials said the total cost of the project is approximately $20 million. They said the effort has been funded by foundations, grants, private donors, even in-kind donations.

Their goal is to house approximately 350 people.

Once it’s up and running, they plan to expand.

They hope to have the first families move in by the end of October.

If you want to donate, learn more about this project, or apply to live there, visit ohanahopevillage.com.

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