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FEMA Approves $35 Million to Rebuild State Public Housing Destroyed in Maui Wildfires

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Release Date:
avril 4, 2024

HONOLULU – FEMA has approved $35 million to help the State of Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority fund reconstruction of three buildings and a community center at Piʻilani Elderly Homes as well as the David Malo Circle housing complex, which were destroyed in the Maui wildfires.

At the Piʻilani Homes senior complex at 1028 Wainee St. in Lahaina, the Aug. 8 fires destroyed 16 rental units within three buildings on the property. At David Malo Circle, all nine buildings consisting of 18 housing units at H-1-16 Mill St. were also destroyed that day. 

FEMA’s estimated funding for the Piʻilani project is $14,120,421, including $262,923 to replace the contents; the state’s share is $1,568,935. FEMA’s estimated share for the David Malo Circle project is $20,891,921 and the state’s share is $2,321,324.

“With this substantial funding injection, we are poised to resuscitate these crucial housing facilities, catering to the needs of our valued seniors, disabled individuals, and families, thereby fortifying the safety and prosperity of our community,” said Hakim A. Ouansafi, executive director of the Hawaii Public Housing Authority. “Our commitment to a rapid and efficient recovery effort is unwavering.”

Under FEMA’s Public Assistance program, the estimated costs of the two Lahaina housing projects include restoration of the Piʻilani and David Malo properties to their pre-disaster design, capacity and function within the existing footprints. The costs also include replacing contents of both single-story properties. The Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority has not yet determined how these facilities will be rebuilt.

Because Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program, FEMA reimburses Hawaiʻi applicants 90% of the eligible costs. The federal share is paid directly to the state to disburse to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred those costs. The remaining 10% represents nonfederal funds. 

The Public Assistance program is FEMA’s largest grant program, providing funding to help communities responding to and recovering from major presidentially declared disasters or emergencies. Two days after the wildfires broke out, the president approved a major disaster declaration on Aug. 10.

The declaration made Public Assistance funding available to help pay for emergency services to save lives and protect property, for debris removal and for projects to permanently restore community infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the wildfires.

The federal funding approved for Piʻilani Elderly Homes and community center as well as the David Malo Circle housing complex is based on estimates derived from FEMA’s Rapid Assessment of Public Infrastructure Data. That process uses geospatial and aerial imagery as well as assessor information to develop an estimated cost for public infrastructure that was destroyed or damaged in the disaster.  

The State of Hawaiʻi Public Housing Authority is expected to submit an amendment for these initial cost estimates which will capture the actual cost of the restoration once design plans are developed. Insurance settlements will be deducted from the projects’ expenses, based on the state’s insurance policy coverage limits and actual insurance settlements. 

For the latest information on the Maui wildfire recovery efforts, visit and Hawaii Wildfires - YouTube. Follow FEMA on social media: @FEMARegion9 and You may also get disaster assistance information and download applications at  at