Self-sufficient communities through
the concepts of Sustainable Living
The Difference between Affordable Housing & Permanently Affordable Living
It may seem counter-intuitive that our focus is not "Affordable Housing", but we are a think outside of the box Organization. In fact, we threw the concept of conventional affordable housing out the door three years ago. Why? It doesn't work.
The State's low homeownership rate (54 percent compared to 64 percent for the nation as a whole) is largely attributed to:
- low household incomes
- affordable housing supply
- high land costs
- government building regulations
- settlement patterns typical of an archipelago with a single major city.
In addition, all households residing in Hawai'i face extremely high costs of living -
working paycheck to paycheck just to cover basic expenses like housing, food, taxes, and healthcare. According to a recent article based on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s living wage calculator, Hawaii suffers from the highest housing costs in the country. And while Hawaii’s minimum wage is almost three dollars more than the federal minimum, two parents earning that much will still fall almost $27,000 short of the living wage!
Hawai'i *Living Wage
Hawai'i Median Individual Income
Average Salary in the US
*Living wage is defined as a wage that is high enough to maintain a normal standard of living.
Where possible, we develop with a “No Pipes In, No Pipes Out” approach. That not only lowers the cost of development, but it is also better for the environment and allows us to develop projects that are not necessarily “Contiguous” (or even close) to existing infrastructure, which can sometimes mean that the target property is not quite as “Dear” as the prime development projects. We first evaluate a property and determine its natural resources and then analyze how to supplement that with a carefully curated blend of superior, current methodology.
We emphasize and provide Solar PPA’s (Power Purchase Agreement – Solar Company set-up and financed, just as KIUC has done, for as little as 11 cents per KWhr ! ) We suggest both power and hot water (with a close look given to possible hydro power and other sources, where possible) to provide the best possible environment. Contact us here for options that require no down payment !
~ BioMass Farming and Energy – helping generate Electricity and/or liquid fuels
~ Micro Grid with mixed and distributed renewable energy generation
1. Reduce demand with water conservation (low-flow showers, toilets, Waterless urinals, etc)
2. Re-Use / Recycle grey water for irrigation etc.
3. Supply reduced water needs as much as possible without County.
Water Supply Options to be analyzed:
- Water catchment (on the North and East sides and mauka areas)
- And/or other reasonable, sustainable options
- AWG – Atmospheric Water Generators (Water from Air humidity)
- Water Wells
- Reservoir and delivery system where possible
- Saline water conversion
We analyze this carefully and – from our current perspective – use of County Water and KIUC power may be the last choice.
- ATUs (Advanced Treatment Units) handle all wastewater. Contact us here for options.
- Also, there are Waste to Energy systems that not only purify wastewater, but also capture energy in the “Waste” (grey, black and green – energy captured in forms such as Electricity, Ethanol, Methane, Hydrogen, Diesel).
Contributory Food and Funding:
-Ag-Based Community (permaculture, organic, agricultural, value-added businesses, French-intensive gardening, edible landscaping, etc.) so that community food crops provide food for residents, with excess going to support possible related jobs and funding the community.
“Community Hemp Farm”
Our goal is to set aside a small plot, which could be started early in the development process, with experts running this project, in order to help finance and subsidize the overall project.
We also plan a “Food Cooperative” – which would be designed and managed by the gardeners in the community – and which would specifically serve the needs of the community – by coordinating gardeners for a wide range of food and high-value crops and value-added products, and including edible / “Ag-useful” (marketable produce) landscaping and therefore providing food, jobs, and income for the community.
- The Ag Coop could operate a “Food Hub” in the outbuildings near the homes – where the community has access to valuable and high-tech equipment and procedures and picks up food and, of course, any remaining produce could be sold to near neighbors to subsidize the Ag Coop. We know local farmers who are sharing the very expensive equipment needed to work the land. Similarly, the Ag Coop could set up a shared equipment system, with Internet apps for scheduling equipment use.
A core emphasis would be a “Walkable Community”, with direct access to as many goods and services as feasible, within the community (e.g. co-op members pooled purchases and delivery from Costco), and then to the highway or other “Safe-routes” to encourage walking into nearby towns.
We also study current options for shared cars, scooters and bicycles and for their use (studies have shown that the average private car is immobile 95% of the time and one shared car can replace 7 to 12 personal cars !) to minimize parking and traffic issues. Traffic proves to be one of the biggest hurdles for public support – and these options save residents huge money.
Permeable surfaces, where proven feasible, in place of conventional, impermeable paving, cement, etc, for flood control, our environment and endurance.
Where possible we will provide and staff Business Incubation Centers to foster and support local residents who are motivated to learn and build their own businesses.