Grand Opening of Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project: A New Lease on Life for Hawai'i's Seniors

On the morning of Wednesday, November 8, 2023, HOPE Services Hawaiʻi, HPM Building Supply and dozens of community partners and supporters celebrated the unveiling of the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project, an innovative affordable rental housing community for seniors in Pāhoa, Hawai‘i. Composed of 12 locally made factory-built homes, this development is the first of its kind in the Puna District on Hawai‘i Island.


Responding to Community Needs

The partnership between HOPE Services Hawai‘i and HPM Building Supply began in 2018 with the swift construction of a 20-unit micro-shelter village within just 30 days for evacuees of the 2018 Kīlauea eruption. These micro-shelters were also used during the COVID-19 pandemic as temporary quarantine housing. The success of these emergency shelter initiatives was the catalyst for HOPE Services Hawai‘i’s bold vision to build permanent affordable rental housing for seniors on 14.5 acres of land adjacent to the Sacred Heart Shelter as part of the organization’s overarching strategy to reduce houselessness on Hawai‘i Island.


As a company that has been supplying Hawai‘i’s building industry for more than a century, HPM Building Supply was honored to be entrusted with designing homes for the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project that were ADA adaptable, ideal for aging in place and as cost-effective as possible. By expanding upon and refining the Kīlauea eruption micro-shelter design since 2018, HPM has developed a factory-built modular home program called HalePlus that can significantly reduce the time and expense of building single-family units.


For the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project, we designed and constructed customized HalePlus units specifically tailored to HOPE Services Hawai‘i’s specifications. Prefabrication in our local facility in Kea‘au enabled us to build quality homes at a fraction of the traditional site-built construction cost.



Welcoming the First Residents

Twelve previously houseless seniors, including four military veterans, will move into these thoughtfully designed units by Thanksgiving 2023. The units provide permanent rental housing, meaning that tenants can stay as long as they wish. Tenants will use housing vouchers, and rents are capped at 30% of their income.


Thanks to the support of generous  donors, partners and sponsors, each housing unit is a finished and fully furnished 480-square-foot studio with its own kitchen, bathroom and lānai. Additionally, the site features a resource office where residents can access supportive services.


“We are so grateful for the partners who joined us on this journey, because it would not have been possible without them. Together, we are making a positive impact on the lives of our kūpuna, providing them with the dignity and comfort they deserve.”
- Brandee Menino, CEO, HOPE Services Hawai‘i


Community Support and Partnerships

The success of the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project is because of the generous contributions of donors who provided $2.2 million for the property purchase, site work, construction and installation costs. Supporters included religious and nonprofit organizations, community and private foundations, and local businesses including The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, OAK Foundation, Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, Big Island Candies, Interfaith Communities in Action, the Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Foundation, Friends of Hawaii Charities, Atherton Family Foundation, HMSA, and an Anonymous Contribution. Building and engineering partners, such as Hawai‘i Island Community Development Corporation (HICDC), EPI - Engineering Partners, Inc., Ludwig Construction, Inc., the County of Hawai‘i, and the State of Hawai‘i also contributed to bringing this project to fruition.

Furthermore, 14 local sponsors participated in the HOPE Home Design Contest, furnishing and decorating the units, with the community voting for their favorites on HOPE Services Hawai‘i’s social media platforms. Sponsors included Creative Arts Hawai‘i/Aloha Grown, Clay & Cane for Hawaiian Electric, Southwest Airlines, Target, Hawai‘i Island Community Health Center, Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pāhoa of the East Hawai‘i Vicariate, Big Island Substance Abuse Council for Sidney Fuke Planning Consultant, ‘Ohana Health Plan, HFS Federal Credit Union, Hope Services Hawai‘i, Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, and HMSA. The crowd favorites were announced at the opening ceremony, and included the units designed by Hawai‘i Community Federal Credit Union, Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pāhoa of the East Hawai‘i Vicariate, and Hope Services Hawai‘i.

“When I reflect on HPM’s origins, I think of my great-great-grandfather, Kametaro, who was a carpenter on the plantation. [He] left the plantation to found HPM in the new town of Shinmachi in Hilo, where it really took a hui approach to build a community and ensure that everyone in Shinmachi could survive and thrive together. So this project is the epitome of what HPM stands for: collaborating and helping our community build better and ultimately live better.”

- Jason Fujimoto, President and CEO of HPM Building Supply



A Model for the Future

The vision, planning, funding and completion of the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project came about through the collaboration of many organizations, including nonprofits, government entities and the private sector. By supporting compassionate, human-centered programs with proven affordable building solutions and public-private partnerships, our community can make tremendous strides together in providing more homes for Hawai‘i residents.


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The grand opening of the Sacred Heart Affordable Housing Project marks a significant milestone in providing affordable rental homes for seniors in Pāhoa. As we celebrate this community achievement, we look forward to the positive impact it will have on the lives of the kūpuna, providing them with a safe and comfortable place to call home.


To learn more about HOPE Services Hawai‘i and its mission to make houselessness rare, brief and nonrecurring on Hawai‘i Island, visit

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