Construction is under way at the Rice Camp Senior Apartments

EAH Housing | Kaniko`o in Lihue, HI

The Garden Island | Jan. 5, 2015

LIHUE — With the first phase of the Rice Camp Senior Apartments set for completion in March, rental applications are now being accepted by the project’s management company, EAH Housing.

Rice Camp, a 60-unit affordable housing community, is situated on two parcels on Hoala Street behind the Lihue fire station.

Rice Camp is being developed by the Vitus Group in partnership with the County of Kauai and EAH Housing.

“Providing affordable housing for our residents is a top priority for us. We are focusing a lot of effort in this regard, and are very pleased that 60 affordable rental units that are in close proximity to senior services will soon be available to our kupuna,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.

“We are extremely excited and thankful for all the partners and support for this project, from the county, state and federal agencies and legislators to the private developer, contractors and lenders that will make Rice Camp available to Kauai’s seniors this March,” said Kauai County Housing Director Kamuela Cobb-Adams.

Rice Camp consists of one- and two-bedroom apartments organized in six single-story buildings and one two-story building.

The one-bedroom units will rent for $766 a month while rent for the two-bedroom units will be $921 a month. Utility costs are included in the rents.

The amenities for Rice Camp include: Energy Star appliances; water-saving fixtures; ceiling fans; accessible walkways throughout the property that lead to community garden plots; and a community center with management offices and a space to hold social and community activities.

Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements including HUD income limits — $38,160 for one person and $43,620 for two people.

“Vitus Group recognizes the incredible need for affordable rental housing onKauai, and we are working diligently on the planning for the second phase of Rice Camp,” said Makani Maeva of Vitus Group, Inc.

“EAH Housing is pleased to once again work with our friends at Vitus Group and Makani Maeva on a community that provides our kupuna with a sense of independence and freedom,” said Kevin Carney, vice president of EAH Housing. “We look forward to future partnerships to create more housing for those in need.”

The Rice Camp Senior Apartments are in line with the mayor’s Holo Holo 2020 vision for Kauai. His vision calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kauai to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values the native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy, cares for all — keiki to kupuna — and has a responsible and user-friendly local government.

The land was purchased by the county for $2.3 million from San Mateo, Calif.-based Westridge Properties, LLC in October 2012 to specifically address affordable senior housing needs.

The county leveraged the land ($2.3 million) and $1.25 million of HOME funds to compete and win an award of federal and state Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) from Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation. These LIHTC resulted in about $15 million of investment from private entities which was used to fund the development of Rice Camp Phase 1.

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Photo: Tom LaVenture / The Garden Island