East Hawaii News

USDA Provides $490,000 for Big Island Self-Help Housing

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Federal grants have been awarded to self-help housing programs on the Big Island and Oahu, Sen. Brian Schatz said today.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development is providing $1.3 million in Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants to organizations on those islands, Schatz said.

They include $490,000 for the Hawaii Island Community Development Corp. and $893,302 for the Self-Help Housing Corp. on Oahu.

The Big Island funding will allow the non-profit organization to develop 11 homes in the Kumakua Phase 3 self-help housing project in Kapa`au in North Kohala and nine homes in the Hawaiian Paradise Park Phase 4 subdivision near Keaau.

On Oahu, 32 homes wil be built in Ma`ili and 12 homes in Waianae.

“One of the greatest challenges for families in rural Hawai‘i is the high cost of housing.  This funding will help two worthy non-profits provide underserved families with safe, affordable housing,” Schatz said in a press release.

“This funding will go towards hiring personnel to carry out the technical assistance programs, paying fees for training self-help group members in construction techniques and even helping to purchase or rent power tools families need to build their homes.”

According to reports from the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp., 10 self-help housing units were developed in each of the two first phases at Kumakua.

The Hawaii Island Community Development Corp. has also been involved in elderly housing projects such as Mohouli Heights in Hilo, which was the seventh low-income senior rental project organized by the organization.

The HICDC received approval this week from the Hawaii County Council to purchase 10 vacant lots in the county’s Kamakoa Nui Workforce Housing project in Waikoloa Village.


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