OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR — News Release — Governor Ige announces Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program

Posted on Sep 8, 2020 in COVID-19 News Releases, Latest News, Press Releases

Honolulu – Governor David Ige announced today the launch of the State of Hawai‘i Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program (RRHAP). The program provides assistance for Hawai‘i renters who have experienced a reduction in income because of unemployment or a reduction in work hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are at risk of eviction.

Funded by Federal CARES Act appropriations, the program provides renters at risk of eviction with assistance in making monthly rent as well as financial counseling.

Applications are currently being accepted for housing payments due between August 1, 2020 and December 28, 2020. The program is administered by non-profit partners Catholic Charities Hawai‘i and Aloha United Way.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its financial impacts have affected all across the state and in our communities,” said Governor Ige. “This program provides essential support directly to help those most at-risk and in need. We are grateful to be partnering with Aloha United Way and Catholic Charities Hawai‘i.”

Rob Van Tassell, Catholic Charities Hawai’i CEO and president said, “Working with clients who are struggling financially during this pandemic, Catholic Charities Hawai’i understands that many who have lost their jobs are one step away from homelessness as they cannot afford to pay their rent. This emergency rental assistance program will help keep tenants in their homes and safely sheltered, while ensuring landlords are properly compensated.”

“Aloha United Way is prepared and equipped to act as a conduit for the Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program during these trying times,” said John Fink, President and CEO of Aloha United Way. “Our goal is to ensure that qualified applicants receive assistance in a timely manner to help keep as many Hawaii residents housed as possible.”

“Catholic Charities Hawaii and Aloha United Way have a long history of helping our communities and we are honored to partner with them during this critical time. We’re also asking for kokua from industry and community leaders to spread the word and get these funds to struggling families as quickly as possible,” said Hawaii Housing and Development Corporation executive director, Denise Iseri-Matsubara.

To apply for the State of Hawaii Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, the public can go to www.hihousinghelp.com or contact either Catholic Charities Hawai‘i or Aloha United Way. Both partners will assist the public through the process and ensure that applicants meet all eligibility requirements for program assistance.

Catholic Charities Hawaii                              Aloha United Way
www.catholiccharitieshawaii.org                        www.auw.org
Phone: 808-521-HELP (4357)                          Phone: 2-1-1

Eligibility

Full-time Hawai‘i residents with proof of valid and current tenancy for their primary residence 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.
  • 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.

Rent Payments

  • 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.

Counseling

  • The program may also provide additional support through financial and housing counseling services to prevent eviction.

More information about the Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, including frequently asked questions (FAQs) and a list of required documentation is available at www.hihousinghelp.com.

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Media Contact:

Cindy McMillan
Communications Director
Office of the Governor
Office: 808-586-0012
[email protected]

Kent Miyasaki
Housing Information Specialist
Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation
Office: 808-341-4069
[email protected]