Tiny Home Pilot to Arrive in July on Kauai



For Immediate Release:  June 29, 2017

Tiny Home Pilot to Arrive in July on Kauai

Anahola, Kauai – The Homestead Housing Authority (HHA) nonprofit is preparing for the arrival of its pilot tiny home unit, scheduled to land at Nawiliwili harbor on July 5th.  The nonprofit housing developer is pursuing the feasibility of prefabricated modular small homes for additions to existing properties or stand-alone additional dwelling units (ADUs) on properties, primarily in Native Hawaiian homestead areas around the state.

“We are excited and anxious, as we await the arrival of our pilot unit, which once assembled will be a 480 square foot, one-bedroom, one bath home,” said Liberta Albao, Homestead Housing Authority Commissioner representing the island of Kauai.  “Our statewide Board of Commissioners selected Kauai to be the location of our pilot unit because we wanted to start on a neighbor-island, and we have an outdoor markeptplace that is a wonderful location to feature the unit.”

The tiny home model arrives at the docks on Kauai in a 40 foot container, and then will be trucked to the Anahola Markeplace for assembly and installation at the site from July 6th to July 11th.  HHA has a 5-man labor team ready, and an expert trainer in prefabricated systems flying in from Canada to train the crew and oversee its assembly.  According to the HHA schedule, the entire home should be fully enclosed by July 11th, with cabinets, fixtures and appliances installed by July 14th.

“Our nonprofit board of commissioners approved this project almost exactly a year ago, to develop a modest product that can help increase the inventory of affordable housing in Hawaii,” said Robin Puanani Danner, HHA Executive Director.  “We have spent the last year focused on finding a home building system that reduces the time to enclose a home, reduces specialty labor which is often scarce in rural areas, has access to patient capital for financing and applies our expertise in Native Hawaiian trust lands, also known as homesteads, established by the U.S. Congress.  We settled on a prefabricated modular approach to test out the build.”

The HHA is a product of Native Hawaiian leaders from every island, that came together in 2009 to create a nonprofit developer to actually build community projects and affordable housing in homestead areas around the state.  Danner added.  “We’ve successfully built a number of community facilities to support jobs and small business, as well as 22 single family homes at less than $200,000.  This tiny home initiative is a great fit for us to try to bring a small solution to the need for affordable housing inventory.”

HHA representatives set a goal of bringing the tiny home in at less than $75,000 with monthly payments of $500 a month in part to address the unreasonable internal rules on Native Hawaiians set by the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.  DHHL requires families to pre-qualify for a mortgage loan of $250,000 and to build a home within a year before they will award a lot to any of the 27,000 families on the list.  The other option is to wait for DHHL to build homes, which in recent years have prices nearing the $400,000 range.

“That’s the goal we set a year ago, and very soon, we will know if our tiny home initiative can be one of the many, many solutions that Hawaiians need, especially for family members that are overcrowded or homeless in the homesteads, or to help families get off the waitlist to take their land award,” Liberta Albao remarked.

For more information on the Homestead Housing Authority and its tiny home project, contact schha.associations@gmail.com or its Executive Director at 808-652-0140.  The HHA was founded in 2009 as a nonprofit developer to deliver on economic development and affordable housing for Native Hawaiians.