From 1916 until 2007, Kunia Village was part of the Del Monte pineapple plantation and included farmworker housing. When the company closed its operations and laid off 551 workers, it put residents in jeopardy of losing their homes. The land owner, Campbell Estate, sold the property to the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (HARC) for $10 and an agreement to continue to provide affordable rental housing at the site. HARC did not have housing development experience, so RCAC agreed to become a partner and develop a strategy to preserve the housing.
RCAC secured $6 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Section 514 Farmworker housing loans and rental assistance, federal and state low-income tax credits, historic and solar energy tax credits, and tax-exempt bonds from Wells Fargo Bank. Additional $8,895,352 in permanent financing will be provided by Lancaster Pollard though Section 538 USDA guarantee program.
RCAC’s Loan Fund provided predevelopment financing to cover architectural and engineering expenses. RCAC then provided Kunia with a $6 million construction loan, coupled with an RCAC loan guarantee on $20,935,000 in tax-exempt bond financing from Wells Fargo to renovate 45 existing rental units and construct 37 new homes for farmworker families.
The project will be complete in 2017.