A plantation-style village for homeless families begins to take shape

A plantation-style village for homeless families begins to take shape
Updated: Nov. 16, 2017 at 8:33 PM HST
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( Image: Hawaii News Now )
( Image: Hawaii News Now )
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kahauiki Village, the new long-term, affordable housing project for homeless near Keehi Lagoon, broke ground in July.

And by Jan. 12, the first families will start to move in.

Work's nearly done on the 18 two-bedroom and 12 one-bedroom units at the plantation-style village.

Also slated for the area: Apreschool and daycare, a sundry store, laundry facility, and administration building.

Duane Kurisu, who came up with the concept for the village, said construction has moved swiftly because of an emergency proclamation that negated the need for building permits.

Kurisu's AIO Foundation leased the land off Nimitz Highway near Keehi Lagoon from the city for a $1 a year for 10 years.

And a lot of the labor is being done free of charge, while various businesses donated appliances, cabinets, and bathroom fixtures.

"Universally, we all want to help other people," Kurisu said. "There was this opportunity to do so. Some people have done even more than what we expected."

Kahauiki will start with 30 families who are now living in transitional housing.

So far, the Institute for Human Services has selected 25.

"When I look at this I feel this is such a terrific opportunity for the children that are going to live here," project developer Melvin Kaneshige said.

Phase 1 is costing about $12 million, of which the city contributed $4 million.

AIO Foundation plans to add 123 more homes to the the 11-acre site. The timetable depends on financing.

"There are things we're doing now, we're looking at and thinking we can do a little better, more cost effective," Kaneshige said.

The families who will move into the village are all employed and able to afford the monthly rents, which range from $725 to $900.

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