Land Blessing Ceremony for 28-Unit Affordable Housing Imi Ikena Apartments

August 31, 2012


Wailuku, HI -_ On Friday, August 31, at 1:30 p.m., Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC and EAH Housing will hold a land blessing ceremony using traditional o’o sticks to turn the soil and break ground for 4-story 28-unit affordable housing development Imi Ikena Apartments at 511 Imi Place. Presiding over the blessing will be Kahu Kamuela Rodrigues. Elected officials and business leaders will join in the land blessing.

“Affordable housing is crucial to our community. Through new workforce housing developments we ensure that men, women, children and the elders of Maui can remain in their community without worrying about the limited availability of affordable housing. Imi Ikena Apartments is a much welcomed contribution to Wailuku,” said Councilmember Mike Victorino.

With the average cost of single family homes in the islands projected to increase dramatically over the next couple of years, the demand for affordable housing has never been greater. Answering this call for quality workforce housing is Imi Ikena Apartments, which will cater to working families by featuring rental prices between 30% to 50% of the area median income (AMI) while also stimulating the economy with the creation of 70-80 predevelopment, construction and ongoing property management jobs.

“A lot of hard work and persistence by many individuals went into getting this affordable housing project to this day,” said Jo-Ann Ridao, Director of Maui County Department of Housing and Human Concerns. “I want to take this opportunity to thank Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC, EAH Housing, the many consultants and government agencies that worked tirelessly to make this project a reality.”

Imi Ikena Apartments would not have been possible without $9.4 million of proceeds from Low Income Housing Tax Credits by the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation (HHFDC) and an award of Affordable Housing Funds from the County of Maui.

“HHFDC is fulfilling its mission to increase workforce housing through public-private partnerships. In Imi Ikena, we are galvanizing our local communities, providing homes to families and creating valuable construction jobs vital to the continued economic growth of Maui,” said Karen Seddon, Executive Director of the HHFDC.

The development is the result of a public-private partnership between Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC and non-profit affordable housing developer/manager EAH Housing. Both organizations are experienced affordable housing developers. Four years ago, Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC was formed for the sole mission of developing Imi Ikena Apartments. The group is a joint venture between DBR Development LLC, Horizon Development Consulting LLC and Affordable Housing Specialists LLC. Established in 1968, EAH develops and manages affordable housing on Maui, Kauai and Oahu. When development is complete, EAH Housing will manage the 28-unit affordable apartments of Imi Ikena.

“Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC and EAH Housing are proud to be a part of the solution to the high cost of housing in the islands,” said Kevin Carney, EAH Housing Vice President. “Imi Ikena Apartments, with its affordable rental units, will help ensure that the needs of Maui’s working families are being met.”

Imi Ikena Apartments will consist of two- and three- bedroom floor plans ideal for small and multi-generational families. It will feature a tot lot, and picnic area. Imi Ikena will adhere to Green design principles by using low-VOC paints, solar water heating, water conserving plumbing fixtures and ENERGY STAR appliances and light fixtures. Units will feature ceiling fans, a built-in washer and dryer and access to high-speed Internet. Residents of Imi Ikena Apartments will enjoy close proximity to Maui Community College, Kahului Public Library and is just a few minutes away from the downtown area.

“This piece of land was originally planned by the previous owner as a ‘for sale’ condominium project. When that plan failed we saw it as an opportunity to create affordable housing for working families and single parents,” said Dave Billings, Managing Member of Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC. “We work diligently to find ways to increase quality of life while lowering the cost of living.”

Imi Ikena Housing Partners LLC brings more than 50 years of experience in developing, funding and managing affordable multifamily homes. The company specializes in developing affordable housing for families; its core mission is to create high quality affordable housing that enhances lifestyles while affirming basic human dignity and to provide a stable, safe environment for seniors and families.

About EAH Housing

EAH Housing is one of the oldest and most respected nonprofit developers/managers in the western United States. With properties in 49 municipalities in California and Hawaii, EAH has developed over 6,400 homes and manages 97 properties, serving over 20,000 families, seniors, students and persons with disabilities.

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