Renters to move in, work to begin on next phase

Pre-opening, groundbreaking held for Hale Mahaolu Ewalu

Grant Chun (in aloha shirt in middle), executive director of Hale Mahaolu, and Mayor Michael Victorino (next to Chun in white shirt) participate in a groundbreaking for the second phase of Hale Mahaolu Ewalu, which consists of 22 units. County of Maui / CHRIS SUGIDONO photos

The Maui News

A pre-opening of the 39-unit Hale Mahaolu Ewalu Phase I affordable senior rental housing project and groundbreaking for the 22-unit Phase II were held Wednesday morning in Pukalani.

Tenants in the first phase of the project are set to move in Friday, according to Libby Behn, executive assistant with Hale Mahaolu. All the units are rented, she added.

The price tag for Phase I was $20 million; it contains 36 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units and two two-bedroom, one-bathroom units. There also is a unit for a manager as well as a senior center, which is scheduled for completion in late July. The senior center is funded by The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the county said.

About 50 people attended the pre-opening and groundbreaking event at the Kulamalu Town Center and the Pukalani Ewalu site.

Mayor Michael Victorino and Hale Mahaolu Executive Director Grant Chun have a discussion Wednesday morning at a groundbreaking and pre-opening event for Hale Mahaolu Phases I and II, respectively.

The rental project is for low-income families and individuals whose head of household is 62 years or older. When completed, the center will include a laundromat, a beauty salon, administrative offices, a commercial kitchen and a maintenance shop.

Groundbreaking for the remaining 22 units also was held Wednesday. Work on the $11.7 million Phase II is set to begin Monday and be completed in early 2020, a news release from the county said.

“A project like this is only possible with the support and efforts of an incredible team of people,” Hale Mahaolu Executive Director Grant Chun said. “We are so appreciative of our funders, our county and state leaders and partners, our board and our project team.

“We have a lot of excited new residents moving into Hale Mahaolu Ewalu shortly, and we are truly excited and happy for them as well.”

The Project-Based Voucher Program, which is being administered by the county Housing Choice Voucher Program office, will help seniors pay for their rents. This will result in tenants only paying 30 percent of their monthly income for housing.

Attendees of a pre-opening and groundbreaking event for Hale Mahaolu Ewalu tour a completed unit in Phase I of the affordable rental project for seniors on Wednesday in Pukalani.

The application period for the Phase I units was held in August and attracted over 280 applications, the county said. A separate application process will be set for Phase II when it is closer to completion.

“This is a tremendous affordable housing project for our kupuna, and I was thoroughly impressed with the design and structure of these units,” Mayor Michael Victorino said. “We as a county must continue to collaborate on affordable housing for our seniors as well as our hardworking local families.”

Funding was provided through the county Affordable Housing Fund; a state grant; the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp.’s low-income housing tax credits and Rental Housing Revolving Fund; Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines, Iowa; Bank of Hawaii; and Hale Mahaolu.

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