Kauhale Initiative

Kauhale is a Hawaiian village community concept, focused on communal living through smaller dwellings and shared spaces. Kauhale fosters a sense of community and healing, using trauma-informed design principles to create purposeful connections. Kauhale residents gather, connect, and support one another, thus building a network of neighbors helping neighbors. By design, kauhale creates a supportive network of family and friends, a crucial but often-overlooked element in helping people to overcome homelessness.

HomeAid Hawaiʻi, in collaboration with the State of Hawaiʻi, is dedicated to bringing this vision to life with plans to build kauhale communities across the state over the next several years.

Kauhale uses trauma-informed design principles to foster healing.

In Hawaiʻi, with its high cost of living and one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, many people struggle to afford a roof over their heads. The Kauhale model offers a practical solution. It creates deeply affordable housing where residents aren’t rushed to move on to more expensive, market-rate homes. The goal is to keep rents deeply affordable, around $500 per month or no more than 30% of what a household earns, making it easier for those who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. 

Modern urban housing is often designed for privacy, kauhale is geared to building community and healing.

Building a Kauhale isn’t one-size-fits-all; costs can vary based on the design and what each location needs. The idea is to keep things budget-friendly and make it sustainable, aiming for around $2.5 million for a 50-unit project, or just $50,000 for each home. 

HomeAid Hawaiʻi makes this work by teaming up with partners and using smart designs that include shared spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. This not only cuts down building costs but also brings people together, helping to keep ongoing expenses like security and upkeep low.

How can I support the Kauhale Initiative?

You can either click here to donate online or connect with Jill Wright, Director of Philanthropy at HomeAid Hawaiʻi, via email at jill@homeaidhawaii.org to discuss a specific gift or philanthropic partnership.

Our kauhale projects