Formerly known as Rice Camp Senior Apartments, a blessing was held today marking the completion of the first phase of Kaniko‘o, a 60-unit affordable rental complex for kupuna.

Thirty-six seniors recently moved in, and 24 others will move in over the next few months.

Located on Ho’ala Street in Līhu‘e, the complex offers one- and two-bedroom units with a number of amenities including: Energy Star appliances; water-saving fixtures; and ceiling fans.

In addition, there are accessible walkways throughout the property, a community center with management offices and space to hold social and community activities.

Monthly rents are $680 for the one-bedroom units and $817 for the two-bedroom units, electricity and water included.

Occupancy is restricted to households at or below 60 percent of the Kaua’i median household income limits – one person, $38,300 and two people, $41,460.

Applications are being accepted for future openings.

Plans for the second phase of Kaniko‘o are moving forward with construction to start as funding becomes available.

“Facilitating affordable housing opportunities for Kaua‘i residents is one of our top priorities,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “We are very happy that our kupuna now have the opportunity to live in an affordable place that’s conveniently located in the center of Līhu‘e. This is another example of how partnerships between federal, state and county governments along with private entities can really benefit our people.”

Vitus Group, Inc. and a non-profit affiliate of EAH Housing are general partners in Kaniko‘o, sharing a vison in well-designed and sustainable affordable housing. Led by Makani Maeva, the partners are also developing Kolopua in Princeville. The workforce-housing complex is scheduled to be completed in June. EAH will manage both properties.

Other key partners in the Līhu‘e project include: the Kaua‘i County Council; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Hawai‘i Housing Finance and Development Corp. (HHFDC); Shioi Construction; Department of Public Works; Department of Water; Kaua‘i Fire Department; Department of Planning; and the Office of the County Attorney.

Kaniko‘o is in line with the Mayor’s Holo Holo 2020 vision for Kaua‘i. His vision calls for all organizations, businesses, residents and visitors on Kaua‘i to be part of creating an island that is sustainable, values the native culture, has a thriving and healthy economy, cares for all — keiki to kupuna — and has a responsible and user-friendly local government.

For more information, please call the County Housing Agency at 241-4444 or Vitus Group, Inc., 1-808-263-7657 or EAH Housing, 1-808-523-8826.

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Officials express their excitement at the blessing of Kaniko’o, an affordable housing complex for seniors in Līhu‘e, while holding plaques from Hawai‘i’s Congressional Delegation. From L to R: Craig Hirai, Hawai‘i Housing Development Corporation; Makani Maeva, Vitus Group Inc.; Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.; Council Chair Mel Rapozo; Kamuela Cobb-Adams, County Housing Agency; and Kevin Carney, EAH Housing.

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