HILO — During the recent Kilauea eruption, a company in China offered to help those displaced in Puna by shipping 35 prefabricated container homes.
So far, only one has been shipped, and it remains in storage in Honolulu.
Hawaii County Managing Director Wil Okabe said the housing unit, made from a shipping container, received some minor damage during the trip and also doesn’t meet county code.
He said they are currently trying to work out with the company, Guandong Huanbao Ecological Environmental, how the remaining units can be retrofitted to meet requirements before being delivered.
“They will let us know maybe in the next week or in January as to what the status of it is,” Okabe said.
He noted the company provided photographs of the units, rather than plans that could be reviewed by the county.
“We’re encouraged,” Okabe said. “We’re still working with the Chinese government so we can receive these homes.”
Units also were being offered to Kauai after it suffered from major flooding earlier this year.
If the county receives them, it’s not clear where they would be placed, though Okabe noted they can be easily stored.
He said an “intermediary” is holding onto the container house in Honolulu.
Mayor Harry Kim recognized the donation in a July letter to company President Yi Wang.
“We are truly touched by your deep compassion for our people in our hour of need,” he wrote.
During the eruption, micro-unit shelters were built at two locations to help those displaced, including at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Pahoa and in Hawaiian Paradise Park.