Hale Maha‘olu Project Calls for 61 Senior Units in Pukalani

March 16, 2014, 3:57 PM HST · Updated March 16, 4:02 PM
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Kulamalu subdivision, Photo By Wendy Osher © 2009

Kulamalu subdivision, Photo © Wendy Osher.

By Wendy Osher

The county Department of Housing and Human Concerns is proposing the construction of a 61-unit affordable housing project in Pukalani.

The Hale Maha‘olu ʻEwalu Senior Residential Housing Project is proposed for construction within the Kulamalu Commercial subdivision developed by the Dowling Company.

The project would  be located at the southeast corner of the ʻŌhiʻa Kū Street and ʻŌhiʻa Lehua Place intersection.  According to a Draft Environmental assessment, the project site is located south of the Kulamalu Town Center and north of a tributary of Kaluapūlani Gulch.  It is also located west of an existing parking lot and park, and east of the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy and Kulamalu Hilltop subdivision.

Hale Mahaʻolu ʻEwalu, site map courtesy Munekiyo & Hiraga, Office of Environmental Quality Control, State of Hawaiʻi, Draft Environmental Assessment.

Hale Mahaʻolu ʻEwalu, site map courtesy Munekiyo & Hiraga, Office of Environmental Quality Control, State of Hawaiʻi, Draft Environmental Assessment.

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The project calls for the construction of three two- and three-story apartment buildings containing one- and two-bedroom units for seniors and a three-bedroom unit for a resident manager.

There are also plans for a one-story 7,518 square foot senior center, a single-story 4,428 square foot adult day care center, and 83 parking stalls, according to a draft environmental assessment.

According to a needs assessment within the draft document, the 40-unit Hale Mahaʻolu ʻEha project on Makawao Avenue is the only rental housing project available to seniors in the Makawao-Pukalani-Kula region.  Also, the nearest adult day care center is the Hale Mahaʻolu ʻElima Senior Housing project located approximately 12 miles away in Kahului, the document states.

Kulamalu. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Kulamalu: west are the project site is the University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy and Kulamalu Hilltop subdivision. Photo by Wendy Osher.

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The draft document also cites US Census Bureau data which indicates seniors ages 65 and older comprised 13% of all residents on the island in 2010, and of the seniors ages 62 and older, 27%, or approximately 3,150 households are renters.

“Senior renter households are lower-income and many experience housing cost burden,” meaning they pay more than 30% of their income toward housing costs, according to the needs assessment.

Hale Mahaolu. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Hale Mahaolu. Photo by Wendy Osher.

“The Hawaiʻi Housing Planning Study 2011, for the County of Maui identified the need for 412 new units of senior housing between 2012 and 2016, including 134 multi-family rental units for households earning less than 80% of the area median income,” the draft document noted.

“Within Maui County, it is projected that by 2030, there will be 6,979 new elderly households which will require approximately 2,644 new housing units, of which 673 units are estimated  to be rental units,” according to information contained within the Hawaiʻi Housing Planning Study 2011, and contained within the draft environmental assessment.

According to information contained int he draft document, there are currently nine affordable senior housing properties providing 677 studio and one-bedroom units.  “Vacancies typically occur as a result of normal turnover only and there is  lengthy wait list of at least 100 people for each property,” the document states.

There are also two market-rate senior housing properties–Kalama Heights and Roselani Place–that offer a “distinct level of service and are at a much higher price point” than the proposed project.

Preliminarily, the project will be designed for persons ages 62 and older with an annual income equal or less than 60% of the average median income.

A 30-day public review and comment period ends on April 7, 2014.

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