‘Priority projects’ aim to reach 5,000-unit goal | News, Sports, Jobs

Akahele Street cuts Pulelehua development in half towards Kapalua Airport on Tuesday afternoon. The future 800 affordable unit development in West Maui will include 100 affordable units for sale, 400 market-priced units and 300 rental units, and 100 single-family lots with the potential for an additional 100 ohana units. Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos

Maui County Council hopes that a series of ongoing housing projects will help the county reach its goal of building 5,000 affordable homes for rent and sale over the next five years.

Thirty six “Priority projects” outlined in Maui County’s Comprehensive Affordable Housing Plan is expected to provide an estimated total of 4,311 limited income rental and property units.

Council member Gabe Johnson, chairman of the affordable housing committee who heard updates on the status of projects earlier this week, said on Tuesday that “The number of units in the pipeline is encouraging”, but the board still needs to spend more time looking more closely at the real price of units and the income brackets they serve.

Johnson said the plan helped council understand that 35 percent of units built should be for residents in the 50 to 80 percent median income class, which works out to an annual salary of $ 47,950 to 76,720. $ per year, and 50 percent of the units built must be aimed at those earning less than $ 47,950 per year.

“This is one of the main reasons why I introduced legislation that would require affordable developments to target the income brackets where we have identified the greatest need and to reconsider the formula that defines what people in each income bracket can afford “, he told the Maui News.

Betsil Brothers worker John Cavness loads four-by-four dust-proof fence posts onto a boom lift Tuesday afternoon at the Hale Kaiola project in northern Kihei. The project is currently receiving requests for 40 two- and three-bedroom units in 20 duplex buildings. It is considered one of 36 “priority projects” in the Maui County Affordable Housing Plan which aims to bring about 5,000 units online over the next five years.

Representing nearly a quarter of the county’s projected target, the Waikapu Country Town project is on track to develop 1,433 single-family, multi-family and rural units, as well as 146 ohana units and a 12-acre elementary school.

Like Waikapu Country Town, many projects heard at Monday’s meeting are expected to be completed before or by 2024.

Although progress is steady, one of the “The biggest problems” with Waikapu Country Town is when affordable units will be built versus when market-priced units will be sold, said Jeff Ueoka, an attorney for the project.

“They understand that the affordables have to be made first, but just in terms of money for infrastructure improvements and all the other things that need to be put in place before the affordable can come in, that everything costs money. money and sometimes buyers and market rates. the developers help us with that ”, Ueoka said.

Nonetheless, real estate developer Mike Atherton said the concept maps are almost ready and they are currently working on the sewage plans and the Waiale Road extension.

Another big development that could help lower the county’s target is Pulelehua, an 800 affordable housing development in West Maui that received approval in October to go ahead and begin construction next year. The split consists of 100 affordable units for sale, 400 units at market price and 300 labor rentals, and 100 single-family lots with the potential for an additional 100 ohana units.

Several projects on the horizon consist of affordable units only. Alaula Builders LLC, for example, is developing three 100% affordable neighborhoods for sale, including Hale Kaiola, which is currently accepting applications for 40 two and three bedroom units in 20 duplex buildings in North Kihei; and Hale Waipuilani, who will have 28 work houses for sale in Kihei, with families expected to start moving in by 2024.

An environmental assessment will be submitted for the village of Kuikahi, which would include 202 mixed-use homes for sale in a worker neighborhood below Wailuku Heights, said Lawrence Carnicelli, vice president of development for Alaula Builders.

Liloa Hale, a 100% affordable senior housing project run by Hale Mahaolu, is only awaiting final arrangements for state funding and permits as construction is slated for 2023, the executive director said. Grant Chun. The 3.61-acre property in Kihei will include a three-story apartment building with 117 units, which will be available for rent to people 55 and over earning 60% or less of the region’s median income.

Another 100% affordable project, Hale O Pi’ikea, is in the early stages of building 90 rental units between two four-story buildings in Kihei. There will also be a community center, exercise room and open green space.

Phase 1 of the $ 54 million project is expected to be completed and leased by July 2024, according to the Hawaiian Community Development Board. Phases 2 and 3 of the project consist of 97 affordable kupuna units and 36 affordable townhouses, respectively. The two second phases will take place simultaneously after completing phase 1.

Each part of the project will have one, two and three bedroom units available at 30 to 60 percent of the region’s median income.

Some housing projects have faced financial problems due to the pandemic or the fall in funding sources.

For example, the developers of Hale Pilina, worth $ 85 million, plan to seek funding of around $ 43 million for Phase 1 in February, after the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation. “Was not able to provide as much funding as they would have liked” last year, said Kari Luna Nunokawa, senior executive at project consultant Munekiyo Hiraga.

The affordable rental housing project proposed for the development next to the Kahului Post Office, would include 178 units – 108 one-bedroom units and 70 two-bedroom units for rent for those earning 60% or less of the median income of the city. region. It would be built in two phases, each phase to last 16 to 18 months.

Linda Schatz of Schatz Collaborative said the COVID-19 pandemic created financial difficulties for the Wailuku 324 apartment project, but the developers ultimately secured a “Interested investor” in October and hope to start mass listing by May and start delivering rental housing by the end of 2023.

The project is in the design and licensing phase and construction is expected to be completed by mid-2024, Schatz said. Of the total number of rental units, 129 would be market rate and 195 would be affordable, with 55 units at 80% median income, 55 units at 100%, 55 units at 120% and 30 units at 140%.

The pandemic has also delayed and potentially killed the 100% affordable Kawaipapa housing project, which is supposed to provide 25 single-family homes along with supporting infrastructure in Hana.

Sherri Dodson of contractor Habitat for Humanity said the expedited request had since expired and had not been granted an extension from county council, so “As it is, we’re back to zero. “

Board member Shane Sinenci, who holds the seat of residence in East Maui, said his office created a resolution for an extension and would present it to the board on Friday. With the extension, Dodson hopes to continue funding.

One project, Kaiaulu O Halelea, suffered delays due to rains from the weak Kona storm last month, but “We will always do it” said Doug Bigley, president of developer Ikaika Ohana. The developers have kicked off the project, which will include 120 units in Kihei, and plan to complete Phase 1 by October and the remaining 89 units by early 2023.

Bigley also said building permits are “Ready to go” for Kaiaulu O Kukuia, also known as Keawe Street Apartments, for 200 affordable units at 60% of the region’s median income and less. Once the permits are approved, development is expected to take 24 months, he said.

The county’s goal of 5,000 units doesn’t just focus on Maui; projects are also underway on Lanai.

Keiki-Pua S. Dancil of Pulama Lanai said the development of Hokuao Homes is currently in the process of being licensed with the goal of starting construction next year of 115 affordable units.

The Lanai 201H project also includes 352 units – 218 single-family and 134 multi-family – although Pulama Lanai is considering the idea of ​​reconfiguring the master plan and perhaps converting some rentals into units for sale to offset costs.

Discussions about the affordable housing plan will resume at a later date, although council members on Monday expressed the need for real affordable housing options.

“I hope to continue working with the council and the administration to provide truly affordable housing”, Johnson said.

* Dakota Grossman can be contacted at dgrossman@mauinews.com.

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