Group shovelKaua‘i Habitat for Humanity held a groundbreaking ceremony for Phase II of its ‘Ele‘ele Iluna Subdivision Friday. The housing project will offer an additional 107 affordable homes on the island.

Crews are scheduled to begin infrastructure work and lot preparation soon to start construction of the first 48 lots (Increment A) late this summer. Increment B consists of 59 homes, which will be built in groups of 12-15 per year, according to a press release.

“Our community has waited a long time and is really getting excited over the opportunities presented by this project.” Executive Director Stephen Spears said in a press release.

Spears said KHH is the only Habitat affiliate in Hawai‘i that is pursuing subdivision development as a response to the growing need for housing. Nearly 2,000 Kauai residents have contacted KHH office to express interest in becoming a Habitat homeowner, he said.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. said at the ceremony’s opening remarks that 2014 promises to be a “very good” year for affordable housing projects, according to the release.

“Having the blessing for phase two of ‘Ele‘ele Luna is such a wonderful way to start the year,” Carvalho said. “I commend Habitat for Humanity for their mission of providing affordable housing for our residents and the county is pleased to support their efforts with financial resources.”

Carvalho also said he is looking forward to breaking ground on Rice Camp Kupuna Housing in Lihu‘e, 60 units in the first phase, and Kolopua in Princeville, which will provide 44 workforce units.

“I commend Kaua‘i Habitat for Humanity for providing hard-working families with the tools to become homeowners through its self build program.” Governor’s Liaison Wanda Shibata said on behalf of Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

Board President Thad Bond said the families’ goal is “to achieve the transformative effect of owning their own home and their willingness to work on it themselves that really makes this project work.”

Campaign Chair Fran McDonald shared remarks from state Rep. Daynette Morikawa, who wrote, “We appreciate your contributions to enhancing the lives of our families.”

McDonald said this is a critical time.

“With financing in place for the remaining infrastructure work, we need to keep the momentum strong and raise additional funds for the construction of the homes,” she said.

Spears thanked the many donors, volunteers, and supporters, especially the County of Kaua‘i, the Housing Office, and Esaki Surveying for their efforts in raising awareness about the growing need for affordable housing on the island.

Plans are being made to hold informational meetings about the subdivision and how to apply for homeownership during the month of February. Those interested in submitting an application for homeownership can contact Catherine Shiningstar Kaauwai, family services manager, at 808-335-0296 ext. 117.