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IPFS News Link • Hawaiian Islands

New Prefab Homes Are Arriving On Maui

•, By Stewart Yerton

A Maui nonprofit working to alleviate and prevent homelessness on the island is flying in homes manufactured by a Hungarian company to provide housing for victims of the Maui fires, which destroyed approximately 1,800 homes on an island already struggling with a housing shortage.

"When this happened, we knew we had to engage quickly," said Ashley Kelly, the chief operating officer of Family Life Center. "We just know those families are coming out of major trauma and deserve to have their own living quarters." 

Designed and built by the firm Continest, each foldable structure is 8 feet by 20 feet and can by placed side-by-side to create larger structures. The Continest units are known as "quick-assembly modular homes." They can be assembled in three to five minutes with one person and a forklift, Kelly said. 

The first wave of 60 homes was flown from Hungary by NATO's Heavy Airlift Wing on Sunday.

The architecture firm Hawaii Off Grid has created designs augmenting each home with a private kitchen and bathroom built separately, Kelly said, as well as a private lanai to create additional living space. Each home will be surrounded by a 5-foot-5 gravel fire barrier.

The development is being built on a 10-acre lot in Kahului owned by King's Cathedral. RevoluSun is providing solar panels plus batteries that the homes will need, and there will be an electricity generator on site, Kelly said. Family Life Center has reached out to the owner of a water line that runs through the property for access, she said.