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Military housing project marks milestone

    Workers from SolarCity install photovoltaic panels at a Hickam Communities home on Hickam Air Force Base. The 4-megawatt system will supply electricity to 2,000 homes in the housing development owned and managed by Lend Lease.

The latest milestone in the plan to create more than $5 billion in new and renovated military homes in Hawaii is being recognized today with the completion of 1,208 new homes and renovation of 1,126 existing homes by Hickam Communities at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The $820 million Hickam Communities is now home to more than 2,400 airmen and their families. The developer, part of the Australia-based Lend Lease Group, will continue to manage and maintain the Air Force homes through 2057. 

Congress established the Military Housing Privatization Initiative in 1996 to attract private-sector financing and expertise that could provide housing faster than traditional military construction processes would allow.

The result has been a dramatic turn-around in the condition of military family homes in Hawaii and elsewhere.

“Our partnership with Hickam Communities has been a great source of pride for us when it comes to our families,” Col. David Kirkendall, the joint base’s deputy commander, said in a release.

Kirkendall said the Hickam Communities staff understands the unique challenges of working with military families.

Lend Lease, through Hickam Communities, said it installed rooftop photovoltaic systems capable of generating up to 4 megawatts of power, enough to offset carbon dioxide emissions over its lifetime equivalent to taking close to 23,000 cars off the road for a year.

Military families pay their full housing allowance to Hickam Communities for the housing.

Lend Lease said Gov. Neil Abercrombie, who pushed for the passage of the housing privatization law when he was in Congress, will take part in a commemoration ceremony today wed/ Nov. 13  at Hickam.

Lend Lease’s $2.575 billion Army housing renovation through Island Palm Communities is the largest Military Housing Privatization Initiative award by the Defense Department, the developer said. That project includes the construction and renovation of 7,756 homes.

More than $1.6 billion in contracts have been awarded so far on the work that will run through 2020, Lend Lease said.

Separately, Forest City Military Communities is building 3,085 new and renovated Navy and Marine Corps family homes in Hawaii as part of a more than $1.7 billion effort.

The projects have buoyed the construction trades, generating a lot of work on Oahu.

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