March 7, 2024

County Office of Recovery announces interim housing projects for fire survivors

At the County Disaster Recovery Community Update meeting last night at the Lahaina Civic Center, Mayor Richard Bissen and officials from the County’s Office of Recovery announced temporary modular home group housing projects being planned in coordination with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Hawaiʻi and private developers to provide an estimated 4,000 interim housing units for wildfire survivors.

This total includes 169 units being provided by FEMA, and 450 units being provided by the State of Hawai‘i. The proposed adjacent developments are located mauka of the Villages of Leialiʻi in Lahaina.

The State’s Kalaʻiola project is being planned for a 72-acre site with studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and three-bedroom units, said Joseph Campos, Deputy Director of the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Services. He said community buildings and a child care facility are planned, with the first phase of 270 housing units expected to be in place by July or August. The project is expected to be used for three to five years, Campos said.

FEMA’s project, named Kilohana, is proposed to be situated on a 36-acre site at Fleming Road and offer housing units primarily for individuals, said Curtis Brown, FEMA Deputy Federal Coordinating Officer. A public notice and Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Kilohana project will be posted from March 8-15, 2024 at Printed copies will also be available for viewing at the Disaster Recovery Center at Lahaina Civic Center.

The draft EA summarizes the purpose and need for the project, the site selection process, alternatives considered and the potential impacts of the proposed construction on the human and natural environment. During this one-week comment period, the public is invited to provide written comment by emailing with subject line: “Fleming Road Temporary Group Housing Site.”

Brown said FEMA has secured over 1,300 units for its direct lease program and has placed 378 households in units so far. The goal is to place 300 households a week in the units until they are filled, Brown said.

County Deputy Managing Director Keanu Lau Hee said the County has been working to expedite permitting for other group housing projects, including five that would provide more than 500 units. The projects include the Kapalua Village temporary employee housing project that recently broke ground, ‘Ohana Hope Village in Kahului, and Kaiāulu o Kūkuʻia and Kaiāulu o Kupuohi in Lahaina.

Lau Hee said the County also is focused on restoring infrastructure including water and sewer so residents can return to 500 units that have been deemed safe to occupy in the Lahaina Wildfire Disaster Area.

Lau Hee said many of the housing solutions meet the goal of the majority of survivors who have expressed wanting to remain in West Maui.

A vendor has been selected for a County Expedited Permitting Center, which is set to launch in April, Lau Hee said.

To view the Interim Housing presentation from the Lahaina Disaster Recovery Meeting held Wednesday, March 6, visit