Amazing things can come to those who persevere. Together, the Nanakuli Housing Corporation (NHC) and the Barrett Family, of Oahu have persevered to pursue the dream of home ownership for Native Hawaiians. Family members recently broke ground on their new home, the Kawelo Cottage, which they will help build with sweat equity and support from NHC. The Kawelo Cottage is the realized dream of NHC’s late founder, Paige Kawelo Barber, whose vision was to create affordable housing for Native Hawaiians.
From 2008-2011, NHC executed a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) to create an affordable home designed by and for Native Hawaiians. The project purpose was to design a model and build partnerships for construction of affordable and environmentally sustainable homes at 10 percent below the market price.
NHC staff met with more than 800 individuals, including leadership of four homestead communities and participants in NHC’s programming, to solicit input into the ideal Hawaiian home. The community identified Native Hawaiian culture and values, such as ease of conversation, humility and leaving people and places better than one found them. Community meetings also identified desired environmentally sustainable and structural features, including solar water heaters, skylights, clothes lines, compost toilets, energy efficient light bulbs, water catchment systems, bamboo floors, and ramps and wider door frames for wheelchair accessibility.
Population of focus: Native Hawaiians
Organization: Nanakuli Housing Corporation and the Barrett Family, of Oahu