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Na Hale O Maui blesses project, pours foundation on first lot

Kimokeo Kapahulehua (center, right) conducts a blessing for the Kahoma Residential Subdivision project in Lahaina alongside Na Hale O Maui Board President Dave Ward last week. Na Hale O Maui photo

The Maui News

Na Hale O Maui blessed its affordable housing project in Lahaina on May 20 and poured a foundation on what will be the first of 12 lots on Wednesday.

Na Hale O Maui said the Kahoma Residential Subdivision will bring affordable single-family homes to public service providers, such as county workers, teachers, first responders and health care workers.

“This has been going on for the last three, four or five years,” Executive Director Cassandra Abdul said Monday. “It’s all coming together now with the houses. We hope to be through, with families in here, by this time next year.”

The project site is located on Komo Mai Street. It’s currently vacant, but the nonprofit hopes to have the first two homes completed by September. The homes will be sold to residents earning 80 to 120 percent of the area median income.

A crew of masons works on the concrete pads of the first two houses of Lahaina’s 12-home Na Hale O Maui residential subdivision Wednesday morning. Zoe Builders Inc. is the contractor. The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo

Na Hale O Maui is Hawaii’s first and only fully operational community land trust. It keeps home prices affordable by holding the land in a trust and selling only the house to residents, while giving them exclusive use of the land. Community land trust homes never go to market price and remain affordable in perpetuity. They are resold to households in the same income range.

Na Hale O Maui founder John Andersen said that the project was a “win-win” situation.

“The community land trust keeps the homes affordable in perpetuity and gives homeowners a sustainable leasehold that they can pass on to their children,” Andersen said.

Funding for the project comes from Na Hale O Maui, as well as the county, state and other organizations and individuals. The Nareit Foundation’s REIT Way Hawaii Community Giving Campaign also donated $100,000.

Real estate investment trusts are long-term property holders that own and manage affordable housing, hotels, shopping centers and medical facilities throughout Hawaii.

“We’ve got such a shortage of housing for our schoolteachers, our police, firefighters, first responders, EMTs, all the folks that Lahaina really needs to have in our community,” West and South Maui Sen. Roz Baker said. “Now some of them, including teachers, are going to have a place where they can call home right here in Lahaina town.”

To learn more about Na Hale O Maui, visit www.nahaleomaui.org.

For more information about Real Estate Investment Trusts in Hawaii, visit www.thereitwayhawaii.com/reit-basics/reit-faqs/.