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Modular homes from Japan to house Hawaii homeless families

  • JAMM AQUINO / July 2016

    City, state and private partners came together to announce plans to build more than 200 modular homes for the homeless at a development to be called Kahauiki Village. Les Masutani, vice president of Coastal Construction Inc., stood outside one of the retrofitted homes on Sand Island.

Structures that were intended to provide emergency housing for tsunami survivors in Japan will instead provide shelter for homeless families in Hawaii.

Volunteers assembled a number of the modular homes on Sand Island in Honolulu on Saturday after materials for 30 of the structures arrived from Japan last week, Hawaii News Now reported.

The new community, known as the Kahauiki Village, will house people who have been in transitional shelters and are waiting for long-term housing.

“We are on schedule, and we couldn’t be more excited to start preparing these homes for families that are so appreciative of the opportunity to live in safe, dignified, affordable housing,” said Duane Kurisu, a coordinator of the project.

Once completed, the village can house up to 800 people in the 200 modular homes to be constructed on the 13-acre site.

Coordinators expect to have the first families move in by the end of this year.

“It’s our kuleana, and our responsibility to help out others in need,” said Kawika Fiddler, a volunteer at the project. “I think what’s great about this project itself is everyone is kind of lending a helping hand, coming together as a community, and really helping out those who are not in the best position right now to get back on their feet.”

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