Honolulu to accept 5,000 new rent relief applications


Households making 80% or less of Oahu’s median income are eligible to apply for the relief

The City of Honolulu will accept 5,000 new applications starting Thursday from renters who are struggling to pay their rents due to the pandemic.

Households making 80% or less of Oahu’s median income can apply. For a household of four, that is $100,700 a year.

A household must show it is struggling financially because of the pandemic, have at least one member at risk of losing housing or at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days when applying in order to qualify.

Renters can go to Honolulu’s Rental Utility Relief Program online to apply.

The Rental and Utility Relief Program is a major part of the City’s outreach to help our neighbours stay in their homes and make landlords whole, said Amy Asselbaye, executive director of the Office of Economic Revitalization. We urge Oahu renters who are struggling from the pandemic to see if they qualify, and get ready to apply.

The program helps landlords by making direct payments to approved landlords of up to 12 months of unpaid rent or future rent, Asselbaye said.

The City will use the money from the next allotment of federal rent and utility funding to expedite payments for the remaining approved applications.

The City’s community partners will start processing new applications from this round once these payments have been made.

We greatly appreciate our partnerships with Catholic Charities Hawaii and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement in keeping families housed, as well as the support of the Hawaii Interagency Council on Homelessness, The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, and community groups such as the Koolau Housing Hui, Asselbaye said.

The program has already approved more than 6,000 households, distributed nearly $50 million to landlords and utility companies since it began in April.

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