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Huliau Apartments in Kahului blessed

Tenants are slated to move in at the end of this month

Before and after photos show the transformation of University of Hawaii Maui College dorms into the new Huliau Apartments, which provide “safe, affordable housing” for families experiencing homelessness. A blessing was held Friday ahead of the first tenants moving in toward the end of this month. County of Maui / Shane Tegarden photos

The Maui News

With first tenants expected to move in by the end of this month, a $5 million county housing project called Huliau Apartments was blessed Friday.

Hawaiian cultural practitioner Kimokeo Kapahulehua blessed the Huliau project, which turned former University of Hawaii Maui College dorms into “safe, affordable housing” for families experiencing homelessness.

“Huliau means turning point,” Mayor Michael Victorino said in a news release. “These new apartments will offer a turning point for these families to live, work and play right here in Kahului.”

Located near the intersection of Kaahumanu and Wahinepio avenues, the project’s first phase is 12 two-bedroom units in three former dorm buildings (four units per building), plus a separate community center building with laundry facilities, mailboxes and office space for wrap-around social services.

Hale Mahaolu will serve as property manager, and Family Life Center will provide case management for tenants, according to the release.

Project funding came through a $5 million Dwelling Unit Revolving Funds grant through the Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation.

Support for the first two years of operations, including property management and case management, will be provided through Ohana Zone funding from the state Legislature.

The mayor acknowledged the work of Maui County Council, county departments, Maui’s legislative delegation, along with others, for their efforts on Huliau Apartments.

“This project is a great example of what can happen when we work together,” he said in the release.

The dorms were built in 1981 across from the college and have sat vacant since 2008.

The possibility of adding more apartments in future phases is under evaluation.

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