Former UH-Maui College dormitory buildings were blessed Tuesday morning for Huliau, a project to make safe housing available for people who’ve fallen into homelessness. “Huliau” means “turning point, time of change.”
At today’s blessing, Mayor Michael Victorino thanked Senator Gil Keith-Agaran, Representative Kyle Yamashita and Representative Troy Hashimoto along with the Maui County Council for their role in securing funding calling it a “much-needed housing project” for Central Maui.
“We all saw an opportunity to create much-needed housing for some of Maui’s most vulnerable individuals and families, and our Maui state legislators worked tirelessly to secure $5 million dollars in funding to rehabilitate the existing buildings,” said Mayor Victorino in a press release announcement. “Maui County Council members approved funding for the project, and UH-Maui College, led by Chancellor Lui Hokoana, helped return the property leased by the state back to the County of Maui. This project is a great example of collaboration, making great things happen with teamwork.”
The County of Maui Department of Housing and Human Concerns led planning and development of the project with assistance from the County Planning Department.
The project’s first phase is 12 two-bedroom units in three former dorm buildings. The project also includes a separate community center building with laundry facilities and office space for wrap-around social services. The County is currently evaluating whether more housing units could be added in future phases.
Project funding is $5 million in Dwelling Unit Revolving Funds through the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corp. Once the project is complete, support for property management and wrap-around services for the residents will be provided through ʻOhana Zone funding.
In a future partnership with UH-Maui College, student interns will assist Huliau residents with financial literacy, case management and hygiene/social services.
Contractor Arisumi Bros. reported that the existing buildings are in better condition than anticipated. Renovations are focused on gutting and replacing the interior spaces, checking for structural damage and making repairs. The project is targeted for completion by early 2021.
Other project details: