(BIVN) – 13 units at the Ulu Wini Housing Project in West Hawai‘i will be converted to permanent supportive housing, and another 10 units will be converted to an emergency shelter, as part of Governor David Ige’s plan to implement ‘Ohana Zones across the state.
In a Friday afternoon press conference, Governor Ige announced plans to implement ‘Ohana Zones, and signed a new statewide emergency proclamation “designed to assist efforts to provide housing for our community’s most vulnerable members.” Act 209 appropriated $30 million to establish at least three ‘Ohana Zone sites on O‘ahu, and one each on Maui, Hawai‘i Island and Kaua‘i. The law requires that ‘Ohana Zones be placed on state and county land and must provide services to assist homeless individuals and families to access permanent housing.
According to the governor’s office:
The emergency proclamation will focus on accelerating the completion of housing projects for individuals and families exiting homelessness. It will also help to expand shelter capacity and access to services, especially for unsheltered homeless individuals. The Ige administration is committed to using ‘Ohana Zone money to support two proven strategies: An investment in Permanent Supportive Housing, and housing-focused supportive services. ‘Ohana Zones will be implemented in partnership with the four counties and homeless service providers.
“More work remains to be done to address homelessness, and we must use every tool at our disposal,” Gov. Ige said in signing the emergency proclamation. “Homelessness is a top priority for my administration.”
Lieutenant Governor Josh Green joined Governor Ige for the press conference. “‘Ohana Zones are consistent with the State’s overall framework to address homelessness and will provide housing for our most vulnerable citizens,” Lt. Gov. Green said.