HILO — The county is poised to receive $4 million from the Hawaii Housing Finance &Development Corp. to build a road accessing the Kukuiola emergency shelter project and Village 9 affordable rental community project on Kealakehe Parkway.
The County Council is scheduled to accept the money, through Bill 132, at its Jan. 8 meeting. The meeting will be held in Hilo, but the public can participate at the start of the meeting by videoconference from the Kona and Waimea council chambers, the Pahoa neighborhood center, the old Kohala courthouse and the Naalehu state office building.
The 1,400-foot-long road with 50-foot-wide right of way will divide the two projects, Sharon Hirota, Mayor Harry Kim’s executive assistant assigned to homelessness, said Friday.
Of the $4 million, $550,000 is tabbed for design and survey work, with the remainder for construction.
“It’s enough to cover the cost of the road,” Hirota said, with no additional money needed from county coffers.
Hirota said the road will be constructed first to gain access to the project.
Construction is expected to start early next year, she said.
Gov. David Ige on Dec. 16 signed the seventh emergency proclamation on homelessness, to accelerate the completion of housing projects for individuals and families who are transitioning out of homelessness, and expanding shelter capacity and access to services, especially for unsheltered individuals.
The emergency proclamation was first issued in December 2018 and permits quick allocation or re-allocation of funds to support existing efforts to curb the emergency.
Construction of the Kukuiola emergency shelter would be followed by the project’s permanent supportive housing element and the affordable rental housing project to come later down the line, resources permitting.
The first phase of the Kukuiola project, located on approximately 19.1 acres, includes 20-30 emergency housing units and temporary intake facility. Future phases would allow for as many as 60-90 more emergency housing units.
The Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corp. will develop 13.2 acres on the parcel’s mauka portion for affordable rental housing. Work on that affordable housing is expected to start in 2025 depending on infrastructure availability, the final EA stated.
The full project site consists of a little less than 36 acres at the corner of Ane Keohokalole Highway and Kealakehe Parkway in Kailua-Kona in the vicinity of the West Hawaii Civic Center and Kealakehe High School.