Helping Homeless Hawaiians with Microhousing
Last Tuesday, the County of Hawaii took a big step in housing its homeless citizens with the opening of a micro housing project. Hale Kikaha, located in the Old Kona Industrial Area, contains 23 ADA compliant units including four that are handicap accessible. The first tenants started moving in at the beginning of December.
The micro housing units can function as permanent housing, but the goal is to prepare tenants for renting an apartment or other home. The tenants submitted applications through a social services program and are given twelve-month leases. The units were created in repurposed shipping containers and include a kitchenette, sink, microwave, refrigerator, and room for a bed. Each unit also includes a small bathroom with a stand-up shower. The facility has an on-site laundry service, office manager with resources to connect tenants with mental health and medical services when needed.
At the grand opening event, Kona Councilman Dru Kanuha said, “To the new residents of Hale Kikaha, my congratulations to all of you. It’s a great thing to be given a second chance in life and an opportunity to become productive and contributing members of society again. I encourage you to make the most of it.”
Cities around the country have seen success in housing the homeless with microhousing. Building the communities out of unused shipping containers is cost effective and reduces waste. In some circumstances, the future occupants help with the construction and establish a sense of ownership with their new home.
Sources: CNNMoney, West Hawaii Today