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Lokahi Apartments dedicated; affordable units still available

The maile lei is untied for the blessing ceremony of the Lokahi Apartments in Kona Tuesday (Aug 31). Photography by Baron Sekiya | Hawaii 24/7.

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

Lokahi Apartments in Kona.

Lokahi Apartments affordable housing complex is now officially finished and offering brand-new homes to 306 West Hawaii families.

Vitus Group Inc. (formerly Pacific Housing Advisors) hosted a blessing and dedication ceremony Tuesday, Aug. 31 at the 10-acre site 2 miles south of Kona International Airport.

“Lokahi Apartments is the largest affordable rental housing project built on Hawaii Island,” said Makani Maeva, director of Vitus Group in Hawaii. “We are excited to be able to provide such a conveniently located, high-quality, low-cost accommodations.”

Gov. Linda Lingle toured an apartment after the blessing.

“I think this is one of the nicer affordable units I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It’s not easy to find developers and investors willing to take on a project like this.”

Lingle also urged residents to be partners in the complex, demand respect from fellow tenants and make it a safe place to grow strong families.

Governor Linda Lingle gets a tour of an apartment unit a the Lokahi Apartments project.

The $60 million project features 90 studios, 108 one-bedroom and 108 two-bedroom units; the project also includes 460 parking stalls and outdoor recreation areas for keiki and families.

Highlights in the apartments include 9-foot ceilings, solar water heating, laminate floors, granite countertops, solid wood cabinetry and Energy Star certified appliances. The apartments also are pre-wired for Internet connection.

Construction began in 2008, with the first residents getting their keys in September
2009. More than 200 tenants currently reside in Lokahi Apartments, but there are still units available.

Rent starts at $331, and ranges up to $863 per month.

“This is such an important investment for this community,” Mayor Billy Kenoi said, noting the project provided 810 jobs at a time when they were badly needed.

The project was funded through sales of state and federal affordable housing tax credits, financing through Citibank, $33.5 million in tax-exempt bonds and an $11.75 million Rental Housing Trust Fund loan from the Hawaii Housing Finance Development Corp.

“The Lokahi Apartments project is a prime example of a successful public-private development that is providing hard-working families in West Hawaii with quality, affordable housing opportunities,” Maeva said.

Steve Arnett, county housing director, said although the project was started under the previous administration, he was proud to attend the blessing.

“This is super cool and so exciting,” he said. “We’re aware of all the hard work that went into this project and it is helping exactly the ones who need it most. It’s not pride of ownership, but you can see the pride of tenancy.”

Applications for rentals are available:
* In person at 73-4411 Kakahiaka St. (8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily)
* By phone at (808) 315-8838
* Online at www.lokahiapartments.com

Prospective residents must meet maximum household income limits that are at or below 60 percent of Area Median Income as determined annually be the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Seventeen units will be reserved for residents making at or below 30 percent AMI.

Vitus Group is a private developer specializing in new construction and the acquisition/rehabilitation of affordable housing projects across the nation. For more than 16 years, Vitus Group has developed and/or acquired more than 4,500 units of tax financed affordable housing in 25 projects in Hawaii, California, Washington, Arizona, Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Nebraska and New York.

2 Responses to “Lokahi Apartments dedicated; affordable units still available”

  1. Dorothy Landers says:

    I am a 65 yr old retiree, single. I have recently filed bankruptcy due to credit card problems. My only income is social security. Might I be able to qualify for this housing? I currently have no other financial obligations.

  2. I am looking for an affordable apartment there in hawaii i am interested in moving as soon as my rental subsidy section 8 kicks in again i have been interested in moving back to hawaii for quite some time now and i have found this web site in the local directary of this web site please send me all of my listings and any other information by mail please because i seem to be expereiencing trouble contacting anyone by e-mail please reconsider sending all info by mail please My address in completion i 263 ASHLEY STREET BUFFALO,14212 upper apartment

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