Affordable housing units aim to help Waianae’s homeless community

waianae-homeless-housing-modular

The homeless community in Waianae is getting some much-needed help from the city.

Three families will soon have a place to call home.

We got our first look at new affordable housing units. The project cost about $800,000 and Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell said they’re working on building more modular units like these in the future.

“This is to house people out here on the west side who right now live on our beaches and in the hale koa and other places and helping them get their dignity back and their hope back,” Caldwell said.

After months of planning, the modular units are ready for new tenants. They include two two-bedroom homes and one one-bedroom home. All come equipped with a full bathroom, appliances, and utilities.

We’re told families make up a large portion of Waianae’s homeless population.

“Some want to achieve home ownership and some want to achieve home rental,” said Tanya Tehotu with Kealahou West Oahu, the site managing company.

With rent ranging from $950 to $1,050, the units offer an affordable option to help families to get established.

“This project is basically is to help them, give them the opportunity to correct their credit, save money and we’re here to support them along the way,” Tehotu.

Caldwell says the city is looking at other properties it owns to see if it can expand this idea in Waianae and across Oahu.

“If it works, we’re going to be rolling it out on other parts of the island. In fact, we have another planned project for 90 folks just down the road from here,” Caldwell said.

Modular housing similar to these new homes is being considered for the larger project.

“Many of us said we’re tired of doing things the old way, just shoving everyone into shelters. We really want to get in the business of building hope and building homes,” said Honolulu City Councilwoman Kymberly Marcos Pine.

“The west side challenge is about families that are homeless. That’s why we are doing these kind of units, and we want to do more of that out here on this side of the island,” Caldwell said.

The families will be chosen through an application process, although there’s no word on how many families have already applied.

Whoever is chosen will able to move in by next month.

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