On Nov. 8, HOPE Services Hawai‘i and HPM Building Supply unveiled the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project, a Pāhoa development composed of 12 locally made factory-built homes and a resource office for seniors. Located on 14.5 acres of land adjacent to the Sacred Heart Shelter micro-shelter village built to house evacuees of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption, the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project is the first permanent affordable rental housing community for seniors in Hawai‘i Island’s Puna District, the first housing project developed by HOPE Services Hawai‘i, and the first community project developed with HPM’s innovative HalePlus prefabricated modular homes.
Following a blessing ceremony and dedication, 12 seniors, including four who are veterans, will move into the units, which were fully furnished through the support of generous sponsors, including local organizations, businesses, and faith groups. Each housing unit is a 480-square-foot fully furnished studio with its own kitchen, bathroom and lānai. The site also includes a resource office where residents can connect to supportive services.
“Over the years, it became clear that homelessness is a housing problem,” said Brandee Menino, CEO of Hope Services Hawaiʻi. “So when an opportunity came to partner and add affordable housing in Pāhoa, we said, ‘Let’s do it!’ We are so grateful for the partners who joined us on this journey, because it would not have been possible without them. Together, we are making a positive impact on the lives of our kūpuna, providing them with the dignity and comfort they deserve.”
Using the expertise gained from partnering with the County of Hawai‘i and HOPE Services on the 2018 eruption micro-shelters and COVID-19 pandemic temporary quarantine shelters, HPM designed and constructed customized HalePlus units that met the specific features and price point for the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project. HPM provided the housing units and resource office structure to HOPE Services at a reduced cost and worked closely with HOPE Services on ADA compliance and ADA accessibility.
“The innovation of HOPE Services and the generosity of so many organizations and supporters inspires all of us and shows us what is possible through partnerships to serve the community,” said Jason Fujimoto, president and CEO of HPM Building Supply. “The Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project is a proof of concept that establishes a new model for how nonprofits, government and the private sector can work together with locally made factory-built housing as part of the solution to Hawai‘i’s affordable housing crisis.”
The project was funded by donors who provided $2.2 million for the purchase of the property, site work, and construction and installation costs. Supporters included several religious and nonprofit organizations, community and private foundations, and local businesses, including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, OAK Foundation, Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, Big Island Candies, Interfaith Communities in Action, the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Atherton Family Foundation, HMSA, and an Anonymous Contribution.
In addition to HPM, several building and engineering partners assisted HOPE Services with the project, including Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation; EPI – Engineering Partners, Inc.; Ludwig Construction, Inc.; the County of Hawai‘i, and the State of Hawai‘i.
The 12 units were furnished and decorated with the help of 14 local sponsors who participated in the HOPE Home Design Contest. Sponsors included Creative Arts Hawai‘i/Aloha Grown, Clay & Cane for Hawaiian Electric, Southwest Airlines, Target, Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center, Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pāhoa of the East Hawai‘i Vicariate, Big Island Substance Abuse Council for Sidney Fuke Planning Consultant, Ohana Health Plan, HFS Federal Credit Union, Hope Services Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, and HMSA.
Prior to the grand opening, the community was invited to vote on HOPE Services Hawai‘i’s Facebook and Instagram pages for their favorite furnished units, and in-person guests touring the units were given the opportunity to choose a favorite. The crowd favorites were announced at the opening ceremony, and included the units designed by Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pāhoa of the East Hawai‘i Vicariate, and Hope Services Hawai‘i.