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A new modular complex could be a model for future affordable housing projects

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) — It was move-in day for residents of the newest affordable housing complex in Ewa Beach.

The project is made up of modular units and could be the model for the future.

Candeleira Santana and her 16-month-old baby, Reign, are among the first residents. As stressful as moving day can be, they find relief.

Santana is from the Big Island. She moved to Oahu shortly before the pandemic hit.

“Then I found myself unemployed. I found out I was pregnant,” Santana said. “And living on Oahu isn’t affordable for a lot of people. Usually you have to have two or three roommates just to afford a spot.

She is a single mother and survived with the help of friends.

But on Friday, she was relieved to give her baby a home.

“It’s good that he has his own place,” Santana said. “He can sell his toys all over the field. We don’t bother anyone. »

The apartment filled up quickly, in less than three weeks. All 58 units were gone, and residents said it just showed there was a need for affordable housing like this.

“Honestly, we can’t wait to do it again, and again, and again. There’s a need,” Honolulu Mayor Rick Blangiardi said.

The complex is made up of modular units built in Canada. Two years ago, the city council urged leaders to consider this type of construction to speed up the process.

“Now we are blessing a project,” said Anton Krucky, director of the community services department. “And then we also have development projects that are already under construction. And then we will also develop and finance new projects.

Applicants must earn less than half of the region’s median income.

For one person, that translates to less than 44,000 per year. It costs $850 per month for each studio.

“Affordable housing is definitely an issue right now,” said Michelle Look, a property manager from Rentals who will be in charge of West Loch Modulars.

“And there certainly isn’t enough to support everyone in need on the island. And projects like this are so critical.

Santana thinks she’s lucky.

“It’s hard to live with,” Santana said. “Especially when you’re young and just making all the right mistakes. It is a blessing. This place is amazing.

She can finally afford a place of her own.

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