HONOLULU – Around this time next year, a family will be moving into a new, affordable home in Keaau provided by the nonprofit Hawaii Island Community Development Corporation (HICDC) and built using a $180,000 grant from the Nareit Foundation.
Located in Hawaiian Paradise Park in the Puna District, the one-story, wood-framed, single-family home will have a living space of 1,150 sq. ft. with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Construction is expected to begin in first quarter 2023 and be completed by the end of the year.
HICDC Executive Director Keith Kato said the newly built house will be sold to a workforce family at a below-market rate. “The foundation of a family’s financial stability begins with home ownership and that’s an opportunity we strive to provide families needing support on Hawaii Island,” said Kato. “This grant from the Nareit Foundation helps fulfill our goal to make it possible for a workforce family to own a new home and have it fit within their budget.”
The new home is being built on a rural, vacant one-acre lot owned by HICDC, which develops rental housing and home ownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families on Hawaii Island.
Kato noted that, for the first time, HICDC is utilizing a community land trust to build this new home. The community land trust ensures the home will remain affordable in perpetuity. If the home is later resold, it will be sold to a homeowner in the same income range.
Nareit Hawaii Executive Director Gladys Quinto Marrone praised HICDC for its commitment to provide access to affordable homes to Hawaii Island families. “It’s critical we give families hope for a better life and that starts with having an affordable home in a community where they want to live,” said Marrone. “A lot of effort goes into making a community land trust work but the result will be a happy family with a home of their own and a better future to raise their children.”
HICDC is a nonprofit housing developer that has coordinated the development of 370 low-income rental units, 174 subdivision lots, and 331 mutual self-help housing units on Hawaii Island. Its mission focus is to facilitate development of housing for low- and moderate-income households. Workforce families who have built affordable homes through HICDC include workers at hotels, cafeterias, first responders, and the Department of Education.
Joining Kato and Marrone in the grant presentation were HICDC Program Manager Terrilynn Leonard and Hailey Lord, assistant property manager for Alexander & Baldwin, a REIT. Lord manages Alexander & Baldwin’s properties on Hawaii Island, including the Queens’ Marketplace, Lanihau Marketplace, and Honokohau Industrial.
The HICDC grant is funded by the Nareit Foundation, a Section 501(c)(3) organization, and REITs operating in Hawaii as part of the Nareit Hawaii Community Giving Initiative, which supports affordable housing projects provided by nonprofit organizations. Hawaii REITs are long-term property holders that own, renovate and manage affordable housing projects, commercial buildings, medical facilities, shopping centers, logistical spaces and warehouses for small businesses, cell phone towers, public storage facilities, and hotels.