October 19, 2023
HONOLULU, HI — EAH Housing, a nonprofit developer and property manager with a long history in Hawai’i, recently held a traditional Hawai’ian groundbreaking and blessing ceremony for Aloha Iā Halewilikō (formerly Halewilikō Highlands) in ’Aiea, an area of Honolulu on the banks of Pearl Harbor.
According to a press release, construction has begun after five years of planning. When it’s completed in 2025, Aloha Iā Halewilikō will be in a quiet residential neighborhood on the former site of ’Aiea Sugar Mill, within walking distance of public transportation.
“Adding available affordable housing for kūpuna to our inventory is critical for our state,” said Governor Josh Green. “Projects like these demonstrate what public-private partnerships can achieve to bring great ideas to fruition.”
“We’re excited to be a part of a broader community vision for ’Aiea,” said Laura Hall, president/CEO of EAH Housing. “We are partnering with the City and County of Honolulu, HHFDC, Bank of Hawai’i, and U.S. Bank, and Lanakila Pacific to fill an important need and to deliver much-needed housing and services for Hawai’i’s kūpuna [elders, grandparents). As with all of our properties, providing a roof is just the beginning. At Aloha Iā Halewilikō, we will enhance our residents’ overall quality of life by increasing food security, promoting an active lifestyle through a fitness room, walking paths and resident gardens, and providing digital literacy learning opportunities. Moreover, an onsite resident services coordinator will provide referrals to local services.”
EAH is partnering with Lanakila Pacific, a local nonprofit services organization providing kūpuna services, to allow seniors to age in place and promote healthy living, including access to their Meals on Wheels Program.
When completed, the $62-million project will include 140 residences — 83 studios, 56 one-bedrooms, and a manager’s residence in a three-story building. Featuring a range of affordability levels, 13 residences will be reserved for households with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area median gross income (AMI), 75 for households with incomes at or below 50 percent of the AMI, and 51 for households with incomes at or below 60 percent of the AMI.
“The ’Aiea Sugar Mill represents an era when everyone on the sugar plantation generously supported each other,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi added. “Affordable senior housing is everyone’s kuleana [responsibility], and the city is most appreciative to do our part to continue that tradition to honor the past and carry on the values of those who came before us.”
Founded in 1968, EAH Housing currently manages 23 properties on the Hawai’ian islands of O’ahu, Maui, and Kaua’i, with over 2,700 residences. The organization has developed 14 affordable housing properties in the state, with three more underway (Hale Nā Koa ’O Hanakahi, an affordable senior living community in Hilo providing a preference for military veterans and their spouses, celebrated its groundbreaking in February 2023). EAH Housing believes that attractive, affordable housing is the cornerstone of sustainable communities for families, persons with disabilities, veterans, and seniors.