County eyes several low-income housing projects

The county will spend nearly $6 million in federal funds on six low-income housing projects this year, according to an action plan presented to a County Council committee.

During Tuesday’s Finance Committee meeting, County Housing Administrator Susan Kunz presented the action plan for the second year of the county’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan, which lists the projects the county intends to complete using funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development between 2020 and 2024.


In 2021, Kunz said, the county has six projects it will initiate using funding from three HUD programs: Community Development Block Grant program, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program and the Housing Trust Fund.

Each program will allocate a little more than $2.5 million to the county, the majority of which must be appropriated by the end of the year.

According to the 60-page action plan, the six projects to be pursued this year include:

— Repairs to the wastewater treatment plant at the Ulu Wini low-income housing development in Kailua-Kona. With $1,420,889 in CDBG funds, the project will repair and replace equipment at the on-site wastewater treatment plant deemed insufficiently safe by the state Department of Health. The project is expected to be completed by the end of June 2022.

— A renovation of the Ulu Wini development’s kitchen, allowing it to meet DOH standards. The project will cost $495,500 in CDBG funds, and has a targeted completion date of June 30, 2022. The two Ulu Wini projects serve 91 units and about 380 people within the development.

— Interior and exterior renovations at the Hale Ohana Domestic Abuse Shelter in Hilo. This project costs $225,760 in CDBG funds and includes replacements to flooring and appliances, a playground area, interior and exterior painting and more. It has a target date of June 30, 2022.

— Interior and exterior renovations for the West Hawaii Domestic Abuse Shelter in Keauhou. This project will cost $157,225 in CDBG funds, and will entail similar work to the Hale Ohana project, although it also will involve plumbing repairs and additional security and safety features. This project has a target date of June 30, 2022.

— $2.3 million from the Housing Trust Fund for the development of 92 affordable rental units for seniors and veterans on West Kawili Street in Hilo. The project has a target date of Dec. 31, 2023.

— $689,000 from HOME and the Housing Trust Fund to convert a vacant single-family property in the University Heights subdivision in Kailua-Kona into a three-unit rental property for extremely low-income elderly or special needs tenants. This project has a target date of Dec. 31, 2022.

Kunz said the county also will spend $500,000 in CDBG funds, and $150,000 in Housing Trust Funds, on administrative costs, including paying the salaries of several full- and part-time county employees.


Members of the Finance Committee voted unanimously to forward the plan to the full council with minimal discussion.

Email Michael Brestovansky at

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