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EAH Housing & Hawai‘I Island Veterans Memorial Officially Break Ground for Affordable Senior Rental Community for Veterans in Hilo

Hale Nā Koa ʻO Hanakahi_eahhousingHilo Veterans

Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi will provide 92-new affordable rental units for kupuna

(February 17, 2023 | Hilo, Hawai‘i) – Today, EAH Housing held a ceremonial groundbreaking and Hawaiian blessing to officially mark the start of construction for Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi, a new senior rental housing community for veterans, in Hilo, Hawai‘i. In partnership with, Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial, Inc. (HIVM), EAH Housing will develop the residential component of their master planned complex that will also 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.

“We are honored to be working with the County, State, HIVM and the community to deliver affordable senior rental housing for veterans on Hawai‘i Island,” said Laura Hall, president and chief executive office at EAH Housing. “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.”

The project will feature three 24-plex two-story buildings, one 20-plex two-story building, onsite surface parking (157 stalls), 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.

“I am very excited about this highly unique affordable housing community, and I hope many more can be developed in our state,” said Governor Josh Green, State of Hawai‘i. “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.”

“Today’s 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,” said Michael Doolittle, board chair of HIVM. “When completed, Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakaki will enrich the lives of many individuals by providing them with housing right here in the heart of Hilo. We also want to say mahalo to all of our partners on this project.

The one-bedroom apartments will be offered at rents affordable to individuals and couples earning between 30% to 80% of Area Median Income (AMI), as determined annually by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Preferences will be given to veterans and surviving spouses of veterans. The 2022 AMI anticipated rents for Hale Nā Koa ‘O Hanakahi are as follows:

  Max Income by Household*  Proposed RENT 
AMI  1 Person 2 Person (1 bedroom)
30% AMI 20,010 22,860 $ 438;
50% AMI 33,350 38,100 $ 796
60% AMI 40,020 45,720 $ 974
80% AMI 53,360 60,960 $ 1,280
*Sources: HHFDC. Proposed Net Rent is Max Rent less Utility Allowance; not including project-based vouchers.

The $58 million project is being funded through $30 million in Hula Mae multi-family bond financing along with $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 (HHFDC). 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, as well as project-based Section 8 vouchers, and the long term ground lease for the land.

“We at HHFDC are pleased to partner with EAH Housing, the County of Hawai‘i and the Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial on this thoughtfully designed and much-needed project. Many of our most successful affordable housing projects become reality when alliances are forged between the private sector and various branches of government — and this is the model we have here. EAH Housing has proven to be a reliable and quality partner in the development of affordable housing ventures on Kauai, Oahu and Maui. We hope that Hale Na Koa Oʻ Hanakahi will be the first of many EAH Housing communities on Hawaiʻi Island,” said Denise Iseri-Matsubara, executive director for the Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation.

Construction has started and is slated for completion in 2025.  The development team includes architectural firm, Design Partners, Inc. and general contractor, Maryl Group Construction, Inc.

For more information on leasing, please submit contact information via EAH’s website 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 finds Hawai‘i at the top of the list (least affordable). In 2020, 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 approximately 2,000 units in 25 properties on the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, and Kaua‘i and currently has 232 units in predevelopment in Honolulu and Hawai‘i Counties. EAH owns or has a partnership interest in three-quarters of the properties it manages in Hawai‘i. EAH Housing is recognized by government officials, community leaders, lenders, and residents as a capable and trustworthy organization motivated by concern for the people it serves.

About HIVM: The Hawai‘i Island Veterans Memorial, Inc. (HIVM) is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) all-volunteer non-profit corporation privately organized in 1997 to serve as a development entity for the island’s many veterans and veterans groups. Visit HIVM’s website for more information.

About HHFDC:  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: