Subsidized Housing Goes Super-Green In Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most expensive places in the United States to buy a home—but a new community on Oahu’s West Shore offers homes that are both affordable and green.

Planned and developed by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and Group 70 International, Kaupuni Village was built by Hunt Companies, which calls the development the first net-zero affordable housing project in the nation. The community has received a number of awards, including the highest green building designation, LEED Platinum certification.

image via Group 70 International

While the median price of a home in Oahu is around $600,000, the homes in Kaupuni Village will sell for between $212,000 and $260,000, thanks to subsidies from the federal Native American Housing Assistance Self Determination Act. The community was constructed specifically for residents that make below 80 percent of the area’s median income level.

Homes within the community come in three and four-bedroom models and are design with a myriad of energy-saving features. SolarWorld solar panels generate electricity and provide heat for water. Energy monitoring devices have been installed in each of the homes, monitoring energy efficient lighting and appliances.

All of the features combined allow the homes to produce more energy than they consume, making them net-zero energy homes.  The energy efficiency features in the homes also mean a reduction in energy consumption of more than 50 percent when compared to standard-built baseline home.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.


  • Reply April 9, 2012


    If some taxpayer was paying my housing costs I could “afford” something nice too.

    • Reply April 10, 2012

      Susan Kraemer

      Some taxpayer IS paying your housing costs, taxedmore. (Assuming you are a homeowner, like 62% of Americans) the mortgage interest tax deduction is by far the largest welfare payment for housing in the U.S. – amounting to about $30,000 a year for homes of about $350,000 and going up even higher for mortgages larger than that. Millionaires get a huge tax deduction – the bigger the mortgage, the bigger the tax deduction.

  • Reply April 10, 2012

    John Bailo

    Is this what they call “density” in Hawaii ?

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