Officials take part in the ceremonial shoveling of the dirt at Friday’s Kaniko‘o Phase II groundbreaking. From L-R: Department of Water Manager Kirk Saiki; Vitus Development Owner Makani Maeva; Milo Spindt, Kaua‘i Board Member of HHFDC; Bill Bow, Bow Engineering and Development; Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr.; Councilwoman JoAnn Yukimura; Housing Development Coordinator Gary Mackler; Project Manager for Kaniko‘o Helito Caraang of Shioi Construction; Housing Director Kanani Fu; Scott Settle of Settle Meyer Law; and Kahu Jade Wai‘ale‘ale Battad.
Government officials and private contractors held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to mark the beginning of construction for the second phase of Kaniko‘o, an affordable senior housing complex in Līhu‘e.
“This is an exciting day as the county continues to collaborate with our partners at the state and federal level, as well as private industry, to provide affordable housing for Kaua‘i’s kupuna,” Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said. “The goal of Kaniko‘o is not just to provide a home, but a high quality of living for our seniors.”
Phase two will provide an additional 30 units to the existing 60-unit complex, which consists of one- and two-bedroom units. The housing complex offers easy access to transportation and safe connectivity to the nearby park and businesses, with pedestrian access and sidewalks, according to county officials. There is also an on-site laundry facility and community center for all residents.
The event was organized by Makani Maeva of Vitus Development, the project’s development company. It was attended by Carvalho, Housing Director Kanani Fu, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard’s Kaua‘i Liaison Kaulana Finn, and council members Arryl Kaneshiro, Kipukai Kualii and JoAnn Yukimura.
Also in attendance were representatives from several key partners of the project, including Shioi Construction, Bow Engineering, Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corporation, and department heads from the Planning, Public Works and Water departments.
Officials expect the second-phase units to be open for renters by this time next year. Rental applications will be accepted as the project nears completion and an announcement will be made when the dates are confirmed.
Rent for the units will not exceed the 60 percent affordable rent guidelines, as set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For more information on Kaniko‘o and its rental guidelines, contact EAH Housing at (808) 726-2888 or visit the EAH website, www.eahhousing.org.