Hope 7Permanent affordable housing and supportive services for kūpuna experiencing homelessness are now a reality in Pahoa thanks to the efforts of HOPE Services Hawaiʻi and many dedicated community partners. 

The Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project, situated off Pahoa Village Road, features 12 480-square-foot studio units with a kitchen and bathroom. Each of the modular units is ready for seniors age 62 and older to occupy in the coming weeks after being lovingly decorated and furnished by volunteers and members of the community.

“This is truly a model that can be used for other efforts and programs of the same nature as far as affordable housing is concerned, particularly for transitional homes,” HOPE Services Hawaiʻi Board of Directors President Pete Hoffmann told dozens of attendees of a blessing for the project held Wednesday, November 8, 2023. 
HOPE Services Hawaiʻi’s partners in the project include Hawaiʻi Island Community Development Corporation, Engineering Partners, Inc., Ludwig Construction, Inc., HPM Building Supply, and the County of Hawaiʻi. 

Funders include Interfaith Communities in Action, the Roman Catholic Church, Hawaiʻi Community Foundation, Friends of Hawaiʻi’s Charities, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, the Atherton Family Foundation, Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, Big Island Candies, and an anonymous donor.

Hope1“What we see here today wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of nonprofits like HOPE Services Hawaiʻi engaging so many partners and funders in our community to provide these beautiful homes that our kūpuna deserve,” said County of Hawaiʻi Housing Administrator Susan Kunz. “It is partnerships like this that will help move our Hawaiʻi Island community toward ending homelessness because, ultimately, the only way to end homelessness is to house folks.”

The Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project is located on the same 14.5-acre site as HOPE Services Hawaiʻi’s Sacred Heart Shelter, the micro-unit village erected in 2018 to house seniors displaced by the Kīlauea eruption. A third phase is planned.

The 12 units blessed this week are among 159 units the County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing and Community Development anticipates will be completed this year. An additional 217 units are expected to be ready for occupancy in 2024. 

Hope 6According to the 2019 Hawai’i Housing Planning Study, the County of Hawai’i needed to add 10,796 affordable housing units by 2025 to meet the community’s needs. 

Since taking office in late 2020, Mayor Mitch Roth’s administration through the Office of Housing and Community Development has worked closely with its partner developers to increase the number of units in the affordable housing pipeline from about 1,200 units to over 6,600 units. 

In 2024, construction is expected to commence on about 650 of those units in the pipeline that will be completed in 2025 and 2026. That’s in addition to constructing a loop road that will open numerous parcels for development at Kamakoa Nui in Waikoloa Village.

The County of Hawaiʻi Office of Housing and Community Development is responsible for the planning, administration, and operation of all County of Hawai’i housing programs. Our Mission is to provide for the development of viable communities through decent housing, suitable living environments, and expanded economic opportunities.

More information on the Office of Housing and Community Development and its programs can be found online at www.housing.hawaiicounty.gov. To receive news alerts and OHCD’s quarterly newsletter, click here. You can also connect with OHCD on Facebook and Instagram.