Website aims to provide displaced lava evacuees with housing
Kokua.Alohaliving.com is a housing website set up specifically for Big Island evacuees who have lost their homes to lava.
Six weeks after the Leilani estates eruptions began, many residents are still in need of a place to live after losing their homes to lava.
One website is helping them get a roof over their head: kokua.alohaliving.com, designed specifically to help with short and long term housing for those displaced by the volcanic activity.
Kehau Costa with Hawaii Island Realtors hopes Kokua Aloha Living will be part of the solution.
"It's specifically directed towards people who have housing availability, temporary or long term housing, specifically for this evacuation and this East Rift Zone eruption event," Costa said.
People who have lost their homes, need help quickly.
"When the first fissure opened up here over a month ago, right away we were on it. We contacted our multiple listing service provider, Hawaii information service. We let them know we needed to build this website fast," Costa said.
It offers anything from free stay to discounted rentals.
"Anything regular units, home stay, Air BnB's, vacation rentals, any type of availability that we could place people in," Costa said.
The site is monitored by Hawaii Island Realtors and Hope Services Hawaii and isn't just limited to listings on the Big Island or even the State.
"We've seen listings come in from out of state, other islands, we've seen people offer just land available for anyone that just needs a place to put up a tent," Costa said.
One Oahu resident chose to offer a master bedroom and bathroom that goes virtually unused to someone in need: free of charge.
"You see what's going on and these people who have lost everything, and I have a room that's basically not being used. Rather than giving funds that I don't have, I thought I would offer the housing instead," Andy, an Ewa Beach resident said.
Since the site went live, 45 people have posted openings. Costa says there's still a need for more.
If you're interested in helping residents affected, click here.