US Sen. Schatz visits MEO to discuss youth program, housing and federal transportation funding
US Sen. Brian Schatz met with Maui Economic Opportunity staff and board members on July 7 in Wailuku to discuss the Kāohi youth program on Moloka‘i, federal transportation funding issues and the Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua affordable housing project.
Sen. Schatz was told about Kāohi, a smoking, alcohol, drugs, bullying and suicide prevention program that began on Moloka‘i in June. The program has two years of funding in place with a $100,000 private grant from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and a $100,000 federal grant.
MEO is attempting to bring its transportation shop facilities from a rented location in Kahului to the nonprofit’s transportation base yard in Puʻunene. MEO staff and consultants discussed with Schatz the obstacles faced by MEO in obtaining federal grants for the project, which has grown more expensive.
MEO is a partner in the Hale Mahaolu Ke Kahua project, a 100% affordable rental project for families earning 60% or less of the area median income. The nonprofit is offering the land for $1 a year for 70 years to allow the project of 120 multifamily units to pencil out as 100% affordable.
Schatz was told of obstacles facing the project, including litigation over the title of the 11-acre parcel.