Kaua'i Habitat project rescued
By Jan TenBruggencate
Advertiser Kaua'i Bureau
LIHU'E, Kaua'i Habitat for Humanity will pay off a $980,000 county loan, avoiding foreclosure on a 24-acre parcel in 'Ele'ele where the organization plans a 95-lot subdivision for low-income families.
The county, which had filed a foreclosure action in 5th Circuit Court, yesterday agreed to continue its summary judgment hearing scheduled for Thursday to allow time for a settlement.
Habitat for Humanity has indicated that an anonymous donor will either give or loan the organization the entire original debt of $980,000. A letter from a financial firm confirms that the donor has the money to fulfill the promise. The county, meanwhile, said it is willing to waive its claim of $117,600 in late fees.
The county in 1997 used money from a $41 million federal Department of Housing and Urban Development disaster grant, issued after 1992's Hurricane 'Iniki, to lend Habitat for Humanity the cash to buy the parcel from A&B Properties. The organization also used a $500,000 grant from another source to pay for the purchase.
Habitat for Humanity has experienced delays in getting the project moving, and the county sought foreclosure after concluding it could not wait any longer. The property has zoning for the subdivision, but roads and utilities have not been installed.
"We are delighted that this matter could be resolved and that the dream of Habitat's project may now be realized," said Mayor Maryanne Kusaka.
Habitat for Humanity uses volunteer labor to develop low-cost homes. It has developed dozens of homes on Kaua'i, most of them on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property, and some with county assistance.