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OHA Helps Habitat Build In Waimanalo

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs has awarded Honolulu Habitat for Humanity a $100,000 grant to help build seven homes at the Department of Hawaiian Homelands Kumuhau Development in Waimanalo.

“This will be our first multi-house build project in nearly 10 years,” said Genie Brown, executive director of Honolulu Habitat for Humanity. “Plus, now we are able to include many sustainable features such as photovoltaic, solar water heating, energy-efficient appliances such as a new combi boiler, and lighting. OHA’s support will make this project a reality.”

Brown said the latest project is a collaborative effort among Habitat, OHA and DHHL, and that the grant will help pay for HHH’s operating expenses as well as fund the new home construction.

The collaboration also is unique in that it will help Hawaiian families that until now did not have a home of their own.

“Usually we build on Hawaiian Homelands and the people are already living there. So we knock down their house and build a new one. This is a brand new subdivision and they are giving us seven lots for seven new homes, so we can put people in who are not homeowners.”

The new homes will have either two or four bedrooms and will measure about 1,000 and 1,200 square feet, respectively.

Work on the project is expected to begin this summer with a completion date in fall 2013. Recipients are able to purchase the homes through no-interest loans and must commit to spending hundreds of hours of “sweat equity” to build their homes and the homes of others. The costs associated with building the homes is for materials and specialized licensed contractors. All other labor is done by volunteers.

For more information on Honolulu Habitat for Humanity, call 538-7070 or vist honoluluhabitat.org.