Hawaiʻi County breaks ground on Kaloko Heights affordable housing development in Kona

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Hawaiʻi County on Friday, April 28, broke ground and hosted a blessing ceremony for the Big Island’s newest affordable housing development.

Dignitaries turn the earth, breaking ground for construction of the Kaloko Heights affordable housing project during a ceremony Friday, April 28, in Kailua-Kona. (Photos courtesy of Hawaiʻi County)

The $54.4 million Kaloko Heights development in Kailua-Kona will feature 99 family units, including 58 three-bedroom units, 41 two-bedroom units and one three-bedroom manager’s unit. The 10.75-acre site is located on the north side of Hina Lani Street, about 2.3 miles east of Queen Kaʻahumanu Highway.

“We’ve made a commitment to addressing the affordable housing crisis for our residents, and we’re going to deliver,” said Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth. “Every unit we build is a place for a local family to call home. That’s what sustainability is all about — making our island a place where our keiki can raise their keiki for generations.”

Kaloko Heights will serve families earning 30% to 60% of area median income, which ranges from $39,200 to $78,400 for a family of four, with rent ranging from $530 to $1,335. The units will be housed in six two-story and three-story garden-style residential wood-frame buildings with solar water heating.


Each unit will be equipped with a stove, oven, refrigerator and garbage disposal.

A centrally located community center will provide onsite property management space, kitchen, private meeting rooms, congregate gathering space, mailboxes, and laundry facilities.

Developer Kaloko Heights Housing LLLP, general partner Kaloko Heights Community Development and manager Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corporation anticipate completion of the project before the end of 2024. Families could begin moving in by early 2025.


Coastal Construction Co. is the contractor. Property management will be provided by Hawaiʻi Affordable Properties.

Funding for the project is from tax-exempt bonds, low-income housing tax credits, HOME, Housing Trust Fund and project-based Housing Choice Vouchers.

Another critical component in getting the project off the ground was the construction of a new sewer line to service the housing units, as well as the 1,300-unit market-rate development planned by RCFC Kaloko Heights LLC. Without a connection to the existing sewer line near the West Hawaiʻi Civic Center, neither project could progress.

  • Construction crews work Friday, April 28, at the future site of the Kaloko Heights affordable housing project in Kailua-Kona.
  • Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corp. Executive Director Keith Kato unties the maile lei during the blessing for Kaloko Heights as Kahu Danny Akaka, left, and wife Anna look on.
  • Kahu Danny Akaka, left, and wife Anna perform the blessing for the Kaloko Heights affordable housing project Friday, April 28.
  • Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corp. Executive Director Keith Kato addresses attendees during the groundbreaking and blessing for the long-awaited Kaloko Heights.
  • Kahu Danny Akaka leads dignitaries during a blessing of the future site of the Kaloko Heights Affordable Housing Project. (Photo courtesy County of Hawaiʻi)

To facilitate the costly improvements, the County partnered with RCFC Kaloko Heights LLC to implement a Community Facilities District and issue just more than $13 million in special tax revenue bonds. The bonds, which will not affect the County’s creditworthiness or bond rating, will be repaid in full through owners within the market-rate development.

“Reaching this milestone and marking the start of construction of this long-planned affordable housing development would not have been possible without this partnership,” said Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development Housing Administrator Susan Kunz. “This type of private-public collaboration is what is needed to ensure every Hawaiʻi Island resident has a safe place to call home without having to choose between paying rent and other necessities.”

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