Feature written in July, 2018
FHLB Des Moines Member: Bank of Hawaii, Central Pacific Bank and Finance Factors
Homelessness is never easy, but when children are involved and impacted by having no permanent place to live, the stakes are even higher.
Enter Kahauiki Village. The 11.3-acre community in Honolulu is designed to address the urgent need for long-term and permanent affordable housing for local homeless families. The village can house up to 600 adults and children, providing not only a home, but also access to a community of support.
Families must first go through transition facilities at social service agencies like The Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and the Institute of Human Services before being eligible to apply as a tenant at Kahauiki Village. Rents are $900 per month for two-bedroom units, including electricity, gas, water, internet and cable TV, and $725 per month for one-bedroom units with the same utilities included.
Parents who don’t have other means of employment are provided jobs at United Laundry, while Hata & Co. provides job training in the food and beverage industry for unemployed or underemployed people.
Built from prefabricated emergency homes, the houses were redesigned to provide a homey feel appropriate for housing families with children of all ages. The exterior embellishments, such as new wood trusses and corrugated roofs, provide an aesthetic reminiscent of old plantation homes. Each home has access to common garden areas to cultivate vegetables, as well as landscaping that includes fruit trees.
The village also provides assistance when it comes to childcare with a preschool and daycare center for non-school-age children, which enables parents to work. The buildings that house the childcare center are dual-purpose, also serving as a central recreational center for all when the center is not being used for childcare.
Sustainability is key to this project with a system in the works, using a combination of solar energy, gas and a battery energy storage system to produce its own power grid. The possibilities are endless for this project, especially with so much support and enthusiasm from the community.