Wildfire updates for Sunday Aug. 13 are posted: HERE.
Governor Josh Green, M.D., and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation today announced the launch of the Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing program aimed at connecting Maui residents affected by the recent wildfires, with property owners who wish to provide them with rooms, dwelling units, houses and other accommodations immediately.
Program application forms will go live on HHFDC’s website, https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hhfdc/, at 8 a.m. tomorrow, Monday, Aug. 14, 2023. A list of available properties should be online by Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2023. The program will remain active indefinitely.
HHFDC staff is in the process of contacting landowners, landlords and management companies to encourage them to participate, in order to create a base inventory of available units on Maui and other islands across the state.
Governor Green is urging individual homeowners to consider joining the program by opening up their unoccupied living spaces as well.
“This is a critical situation and time is of the essence,” Governor Green said. “I am asking the people of Hawaiʻi to consider making this significant sacrifice to help our neighbors, many of whom have lost everything they owned in a matter of minutes. Letʻs show the rest of the world the meaning of aloha.”
More than 1,000 families and individuals lost their homes due to this week’s tragedy. “We are going to need to house thousands of people,” Governor Green said. “It’s our intent to initially seek 2,000 rooms so that we can quickly get housing for those who are displaced and in need of a home. We are asking folks in the community to rent out those extra rooms, the ‘ohana units or accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in their homes, vacation rentals, or whatever safe and secure rooms they have available,” he said.
HHFDC Interim Executive Director Dean Minakami said his staff will continue to gather information and make it available to the public as needed.
“The program website will feature an online portal form for landlords to list any available units they may have,” Minakami said. “Once staff verifies the validity of theunits, the information for those units is being placed in a database which will be available to those who have lost their homes or been displaced from their houses due to damage.”
For those without access to the internet, a telephone hotline (808-587-0469) has been established where landlords, property managers, homeowners ordisplaced residents may contact HHFDC staff for assistance or questions about the program. Staff will be available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. The public may also email staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A list of responses to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the program will also available on the HHFDC website.
The program is designed to act as a referral service only. It is up to the landlords and rental agents and the displaced residents to reach terms on rental arrangements and there is no obligation for any party to accept an arrangement. Landlords who rent units to eligible residents displaced by the fires may be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency and/or state funds. More details will be released as they become available.