The Kekauoha family stands in front of the site of their home, which will be built by donations from the community, volunteers, and coordinated by Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii. (Anna Pacheco/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Melanie Lucas places a photo of her family at the site where their new home will be completed in just two short weeks, accompanied by her daughters, Kaila, 13, and Taylor, 9. (Anna Pacheco/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii’s Lai Opua Blitz Build kicked off the 10 day build with a blessing on Wednesday evening. (Anna Pacheco/Special to West Hawaii Today)
Work to construct five homes in 10 days begins today following a Wednesday afternoon blessing at the Villages at Lai Opua build site in North Kona.
Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii’s 2012 Blitz Build in Kona gets under way at 7:30 a.m. with hundreds of volunteers ascending upon the Kealakehe area lots to construct the affordable family homes. The build is also part of Habitat for Humanity West Hawaii’s celebration of 10 years serving the island’s leeward side.
In addition to the estimated 200 local volunteers who have signed up to participate, at least 71 Blitz Home Builders volunteers traveling from the U.S. mainland and Canada as well as 12 members of Habitat for Humanity International’s Global Village Team are taking part in the build. The build is slated to wrap up Sept. 22.
The five prepackaged, but modified, homes estimated to cost $100,000 to $150,000 each are being built in an effort to increase affordable housing opportunities in Kona. All are being constructed on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands parcels available to approved Native Hawaiian beneficiaries on a 99-year $1 annual site lease. Five families have already been approved for the homes.
Previously, Habitat has built 14 homes, all of which have been constructed outside urban Kona because of land costs. Ten have been constructed on DHHL parcels.
Owning a Habitat-built home requires a recipient family earn 70 percent of the area median income and contribute 500 hours or more of “sweat equity” to build their own house or help other families construct homes. Recipients also agree to a 20-year, no-interest mortgage underwritten by Habitat for Humanity International.
To get involved in the build or to donate, visit habitatwesthawaii.org or call 331-8010. An application is required. Helpers can register during the actual build. Donations can also be made at the site.