County of Honolulu launched the Ewa Villages Revitalization Program to utilize the now defunct plantation land. EAH Housing/Hui Kauhale was selected in 2003 to revitalize the community through high-quality, affordable housing.
Development of housing on the project site required major infrastructure improvements including removal of surplus soils, over-excavation and import of new fill, and the construction of two roads to serve the entire development, along with the attendant wet and dry utilities (electrical, cable, sewer, storm, water, etc.) EAH entered into a purchase contract with a private for-profit developer to purchase approximately 8 acres along the northern edge of the property, the plan was for the for-profit developer to build market rate housing on this part of the site.
The housing industry slump caused the market rate partner to pull out of the project while initial site work costs had already been incurred. This left developer EAH Housing to burden its affordable housing with the infrastructure costs, with the loss of its market rate partner and difficulty coupled with lengthy time frames to find local funding, the 192 community is now being developed in three phases. Phase I, consisting of 64 apartment homes in four two-story buildings, began construction in spring 2011, and opened for occupancy in fall of 2012. Each building surrounds a beautifully landscaped central courtyard and includes fenced in tot-lots for children.
The community is home to people of mixed backgrounds and professions: pre-school teachers, health care professionals, bank tellers, older adults and families. Residents have access to a community center, a computer learning lab and resource coordination services. VMK Phase I includes one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, ranging from 674 sq. ft. to 1,119 sq. ft. Each unit features energy efficient appliances, windows and lighting.