By Wendy Osher
A light mist helped usher in a blessing at the site of Maui’s newest affordable housing complex in Central Maui today.
Catholic Charities Housing Development Corporation broke ground this morning on the first phase of Kahului Lani, a senior affordable rental housing development bordered by Kane, Vevau and School streets in Kahului.
Organization leaders say the project will provide low-income seniors with an affordable permanent living option, offering complementary amenities, where residents can “age in place.”
While addressing those in attendance, Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa referenced the “silver tsunami” saying the project will help the growing older population in finding an affordable place to live. He also said plans to build “up” instead of “out” will help prevent urban sprawl and provide room for green, open spaces in the future.
The two-phased master planned project features 165 units, with the first phase featuring a six story building with 81 rental units. It is located between the Kahului Foodland and Kahului Library on a parcel of land that was once used as a go-kart track.
The project is slated for completion in 2020. Once finished, seniors ages 55 and older who earn 60% or less of the county median income will be eligible to apply as potential tenants.
The ceremony included remarks from: Rick Stack, president of Catholic Charities HDC; Leah Belmonte, the Governor’s Maui representative; Mayor Alan Arakawa; and Stacy Crivello, Housing, Human Services and Transportation Committee Chair on the Maui County Council.
A groundbreaking and blessing was led by Rev. Msgr. Terrence AM Watanabe and Kahu Kealahou C Alika of Keawalaʻi Congregational Church.