Hawai‘i Relief Program Offers Up to $1500 Monthly to Neighbor Island Renters
The state’s rental housing relief program, which provides relief for renters who have suffered a loss of income because of COVID-19, was the topic of focus during Governor David Ige’s weekly Community Connection Facebook live event held today.
“We know it’s so important to keep people in their homes,” said Gov. Ige during the session. “We’ve asked landlords to be patient until we could start these types of programs to ensure we don’t add to our homeless populations. Most importantly, this program will help strengthen families and allow them to remain in their homes.”
In order to qualify for the program, household income must be at or below 100% of the HUD median income. Executive Director of the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance Development Corporation Denise Iseri-Matsubara said, “This translates to about $83,000 for a family of four in Hawaiʻi County, to about $126,000 for a family of four on Oʻahu.”
The state will help with rent payments of up to $2,000 monthly for households on Oʻahu, and up to $1,500 for households on the neighbor islands, that will be made directly to landlords. Another phase will be rolled out later, which will also include assistance for mortgages. Payments can be made in lump sum amounts for up to three months at a time.
Landlords receive a commitment letter from the nonprofit administering the program advising them that the acceptance of the payments means the are not to evict the tenant for the duration of the housing assistance.
The governor hosts the Community Connection weekly with various state leaders to keep the public informed on what’s happening during the COVID-19 crisis and to discuss resources available for residents.
The full length program is available for viewing below. Scroll down for information on eligibility and how to apply.
September 17, 2020 Community Connection on Facebook live: Today Denise Iseri-Matsubara, Executive Director of Hawai'i Housing Finance & Development Corporation
Posted by Governor David Ige on Thursday, September 17, 2020
To apply for the State of Hawai‘i Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, go to www.hihousinghelp.com or contact either: Catholic Charities Hawai‘i at www.catholiccharitieshawaii.com or 808-521-HELP (4357); or Aloha United Way at 2-1-1 or www.auw.org. Both partners will assist the public through the process and ensure that applicants meet all eligibility requirements for program assistance.
Full-time Hawai‘i residents with proof of valid and current tenancy for their primary residence or who own and occupy a housing unit in Hawai‘i must show a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have a gross household income that does not exceed 100% of the HUD Area Median Income for 2020. You can apply for the Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program if you:
- Are a full-time Hawai‘i resident.
- Have proof of valid and current tenancy for primary residence in the state of Hawai‘i.
- Own and occupy a housing unit in the state of Hawai‘i
- Are 18 years of age or older.
- Can demonstrate a loss of income directly resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Can demonstrate that your current household income does not exceed 100% Area Median Income.
Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program Details
Housing assistance payments can be made in lump sum amounts for August 1, 2020 through December 28, 2020. Payments will be made directly to landlords.
- Monthly rent payments of up to $2,000 per household residing in the City and County of Honolulu, or $1,500 per household residing in the Counties of Hawai‘i, Maui or Kaua‘i.
- Rent payments will not exceed the actual rent owed.
Details for the second phase are being finalized, with another $50 million dedicated to covering rents and mortgages beginning on Mar. 1.
More information about the Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, including frequently asked questions and a list of required documentation is available at www.hihousinghelp.com.