EAH Housing, City and County of Honolulu, and the Hawai’i Housing Finance and Development Corporation Celebrate the Groundbreaking of a New $62 Million Affordable Senior Rental Community on the Site of Former ‘Aiea Sugar Mill
Date: October 17, 2023
Media Contact: Nathan Hokama, (808) 226-7470 (cell), [email protected]
(HONOLULU, HAWAI‘I) – O’ahu’s fast-growing kūpuna population will soon have new, affordable housing options with services and amenities to support vibrant, healthy lifestyles.
EAH Housing, a nonprofit developer and property manager with a long history in the islands, held a traditional Hawaiian groundbreaking and blessing ceremony today for Aloha Iā Halewilikō (formerly Halewilikō Highlands) in ‘Aiea. After five years of careful planning, the project’s construction has begun, and completion is targeted for 2025. The $62 million project is funded by the City and County of Honolulu, which is also providing the land, Hawai‘i Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC), the Bank of Hawai‘i, and U.S. Bank.
Located in a quiet residential neighborhood adjacent to ‘Aiea Public Library on the former site of ‘Aiea Sugar Mill, Aloha Iā Halewilikō fulfills a part of the ‘Aiea Town Center Master Plan. The project at 99-385 Pōhai Place is within walking distance of public transportation and will offer much more than an affordable home for seniors.
“We’re excited to be a part of a broader community vision for ‘Aiea. We are partnering with the City and County of Honolulu, HHFDC, Bank of Hawai’i, U.S. Bank, and Lanakila Pacific to fill an important need and to deliver much-needed housing and services for Hawai‘i’s kūpuna,” said Laura Hall, President and CEO of EAH Housing. “As with all of our properties, providing a roof is just the beginning. At Aloha Iā Halewilikō, we will enhance our residents’ overall quality of life by increasing food security, promoting an active lifestyle through a fitness room, walking paths, and resident gardens, and providing digital literacy learning opportunities. Moreover, an onsite resident services coordinator will provide referrals to local services.”
When completed, the new 140 units — 83 studios, 56 one-bedroom units, and a manager’s unit in a three-story building — will provide welcome options to meet the growing demand for affordable senior homes.
Providing a range of affordability levels, a total of 13 units will be set aside for households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median gross income (AMI), 75 units for households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the AMI, and 51 units for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the AMI.
EAH is partnering with Lanakila Pacific, a trusted local nonprofit services organization providing kūpuna services to allow seniors to age in place and promote healthy living, including access to their Meals on Wheels Program.” Adding available affordable housing for kūpuna to our inventory is critical for our state,” said Governor Josh Green. “Projects like these demonstrate what public-private partnerships can achieve to bring great ideas to fruition.”
Mayor Rick Blangiardi added: “‘The ‘Aiea Sugar Mill represents an era when everyone on the sugar plantation generously supported each other. Affordable senior housing is everyone’s kuleana, and the city is most appreciative to do our part to continue that tradition to honor the past and carry on the values of those who came before us.”
In Hawai‘i, EAH Housing currently manages 23 properties with over 2,700 units. The nonprofit organization has developed 14 affordable housing properties in Hawai‘i. It has three more underway, including Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi, an affordable senior living community in Hilo providing a preference for military veterans and their spouses that celebrated its groundbreaking in February 2023.
EAH Housing was also recently notified it won the approval of HHFDC to develop the two-phased Kahului Civic Center Mixed-Use Complex. This project will feature 303 affordable housing units to meet the critical demand for genuinely affordable housing serving Maui families. The new project will be located on Kaahumanu Avenue and conveniently located next to Queen Ka‘ahumanu Center.
For more information on leasing at Aloha Iā Halewilikō, visit eahhousing.org or call (808) 439-6286.
About EAH Housing
EAH Housing is one of the most respected nonprofit housing organizations in the western United States. The organization was founded in 1968 with the belief that attractive, affordable housing is the cornerstone of sustainable communities for families, persons with disabilities, veterans, and seniors.
Every year, the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual Out of Reach studies, which measure affordability expressed through State Housing Wages, consistently find Hawai‘i at the top (least affordable) list. In 2022, Hawai‘i was ranked #1 for having the highest State Housing Wage.
In 1996, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approached Devine & Gong, a partner of EAH, to help preserve several affordable rental properties that were about to be converted to condominiums. With their help, EAH acquired Kukui Tower (380 units) in Honolulu and Kalani Gardens (119 units) in Mililani, preventing the eviction of more than 1,500 residents. Shortly after, EAH also preserved Kukui Gardens (389 units) in Honolulu and Kahului Town Terrace (72 units) on Maui.
In the state of Hawai‘i, EAH Housing now manages over 2,700 units in 23 properties on the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, and Kaua‘i. Currently, it has 278 units in predevelopment in Honolulu, Maui. and Hawai‘i Counties. EAH Housing is recognized by government officials, community leaders, lenders, and residents as a capable and trustworthy organization motivated by its mission and passion for the people it serves.
The Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC) is the State of Hawai‘i’s housing finance and development agency. More information on affordable housing development and state-sponsored homeownership initiatives is available at http://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hhfdc/.
About Lanakila Pacific
Lanakila Pacific is a nonprofit organization dedicated to building independence and improved quality of life for individuals with cognitive, physical, social, or age-related challenges and inspiring self-sufficiency and inclusive communities where people of all ages and abilities are empowered to find meaningful employment, live independently, and thrive in spirit.