Star-Adv: ‘Ohana homebuilding project breaks ground in Waianae’

By Andrew Gomes
June 21, 2017

Developing a new $450,000 ocean-view home on Oahu is not an easy feat. Doing it at a cost of $295,000 is even more unfathomable. Yet 12 local families with moderate to low incomes are doing that in Waianae, where 70 such homes are slated to be built over about two years.

The nonprofit Self-Help Housing Corp. of Hawaii and state officials held a blessing and groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for the project where teams of families will help each other build their own homes.

The initial group, which since May has built floor and wall framing for five homes, includes Michelle Kea, a single mother of two who is a supervisor at Sam’s Club and is building a home with her father, Matthew, and another single parent, Mazie Wan, who will be the first in her family to own a home.

“I would never be able to afford to buy a house without this program,” said Wan, a state employee. “I am thankful to be in the program.”

Self-Help Housing has developed 656 homes in Hawaii over the last 52 years through a process that involves stitching together financing from government sources, other nonprofits and private lenders that help make new homes affordable for people who get construction coaching and put in 16 hours of sweat equity every weekend.

Teams of 11 or 12 households build each other’s homes, which are projected to take about 12 months to finish. Foundation work is expected to start in a couple of weeks after building permits are issued.   Continue reading