Benioffs donate additional 158 acres for affordable housing project in Waimea

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Marc and Lynne Benioff donated an additional 158 acres to a Hilo-based nonprofit that will be developing at ʻŌuli in Waimea for affordable housing.

The newest gift by the Benioffs adds to the 282 acres they previously donated to Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation in December 2023. The new land donation, which is adjacent to the 282 acres, brings the total land given by the Benioffs to increase affordable housing to 440 acres.

Marc Benioff is the Chair, CEO and co-founder of Salesforce, an enterprise software company.

The additional land had been held since purchase in a nonprofit for charitable use, awaiting a determination by the nonprofit as to whether it would be able to make use of the full acreage.


“We are so pleased that HICDC is able to use this land to support this important need,” said Marc and Lynne Benioff. “We are inspired by all that Keith Kato and his team have accomplished across the years in providing self-help housing and affordable rentals to families on the Big Island, and are honored to support their work.”

The ʻŌuli Project is intended for self-help housing, turnkey-single-family-for-sale housing and potentially low-rise multi-family housing. Additionally, the project will include accessory facilities including parks, community spaces and open space on the 440 acres.

The project can be accessed from Kawaihae Road by way of Waiula Drive, which also provides access to an existing County of Hawai‘i rental housing project.


The project will begin with an initial 43-unit Self Help Affordable Housing phase. During this phase, HICDC develops the lots, evaluates eligibility and processes loan applications, manages house plans, procures specialty work, trains and supervises households on construction and safety, manages subcontractors and manages receipt and payment of loan funds through project completion.

“Our goal is to move quickly as affordable housing is needed today for low to moderate-income residents on Hawai‘i Island. We are on our way and will begin to qualify the first 43 families to begin their journey to homeownership,” said HICDC Executive Director Keith Kato. “Without the Benioffs’ donations, none of this would be possible today.”

The Benioffs have donated more than $250 million to philanthropic causes in Hawai‘i, including a recent $150 million gift to expand major medical centers on the islands of Hawaii and Oahu as well as major gifts for disaster relief, fire safety, emergency transport, education and the environment. This also includes $7 million to facilitate the ʻŌuli Project site planning and infrastructure development and an additional unrestricted $1 million gift to expand HICDC’s capacity to bring more housing to the community.


“What can I say but wow,” said Hawai‘i County Mayor Mitch Roth.

“Marc and Lynne Benioff continue to amaze me with their generous giving to Hawai‘i Island. Gifting an additional 158 acres of land will help people on Hawai‘i Island buy a home that they can afford for years to come.”

The Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation has developed nearly 900 affordable housing units on Hawaii Island over the past 30 years. There are 40 existing self-help units that abut the donated ʻŌuli property part of a previous Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation project.

“Mayor Mitch Roth’s description of sustainability describes families not just surviving but actually thriving. Providing access to affordable housing helps our ohana and families thrive. I can’t emphasize how important it is to have the security of decent housing and a good living environment for everyone,” said Hawai‘i County Housing Administrator Susan Kunz. “Forty-three lucky families will soon thrive thanks to Lynne and Marc Benioff.”

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