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Construction Begins on Hilo Rental Community for Senior Veterans

Hale Nā Koa ʻO Hanakahi_eahhousingHilo Veterans

By: Big Island Now

February 18, 2022 – A ceremonial groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing was held on Friday for Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi, a new senior rental housing community for veterans in Hilo.

EAH Housing, in partnership with the Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial, will develop the residential component of the master planned complex, which also will include a community-based outpatient clinic. 

Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi, located at 118 W. Kawili Street, will be built on 5.5 acres owned by the County of Hawai‘i. The 92-unit affordable living community will be available to veterans, surviving spouses and other income-qualified seniors age 62 years or older.

Construction has started and is slated for completion in 2025. 

“This project will provide a comfortable place for our veterans and their surviving spouses, who live on fixed incomes, to thrive and have an improved quality of life,” said Laura Hall, president and chief executive office at EAH Housing, said in a press release.

The project will feature three 24-unit, two-story buildings and one 20-unit, two-story building. It also will have 157 parking spaces, laundry facilities, a central community center with a common area lounge, coffee bar, fitness room, property management offices and a multi-purpose room for social and educational activities.

The one-bedroom apartments will be offered at rents affordable to individuals and couples earning between 30% to 80% of area median income, as determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Preferences will be given to veterans and surviving spouses of veterans. The 2022 AMI anticipated rents for Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi are in the chart below.

“I am very excited about this highly unique affordable housing community; and I hope many more can be developed in our state,” Hawaiʻi Gov. Josh Green said in a press release. “This full-service senior living community, built to house veterans and their surviving spouses, is one example of the many types of affordable housing that are so desperately needed across our islands. I commend the formation of the partnership between EAH Housing and Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial to bring this project to fruition for those who served our grateful nation.”

Michael Doolittle, board chair of Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial, said the “groundbreaking brings to fruition the hard work and commitment of so many in our community who have worked to address the need for affordable housing for our kūpuna, especially the veterans who have served our country.”

The $58 million project is being funded through $30 million in Hula Mae multi-family bond financing, $16.9 million in Rental Housing Revolving Fund loans and approximately $2.5 million in annual state and federal low-income housing tax credits from the Hawai‘i Housing Finance Development Corporation.

The investor in those credits is Enterprise Housing Credit Investments, with permanent financing from Bank of Hawai‘i. Additional funding is provided by the County of Hawai‘i through their HOME and Housing Trust Fund Programs and project-based Section 8 vouchers. The county also is providing the longterm ground lease for the land.

The development team includes architectural firm, Design Partners, and general contractor, Maryl Group Construction.

Read full article here.