Applicants must be Native Hawaiian and on DHHL’s waitlist for housing. To qualify, families must have a household income that doesn’t exceed 80% of the federal median income. If approved, they’ll receive funds for a security deposit and rent for up to six months.
DHHL Chairman William Aila announced a new rental assistance program for Native Hawaiians on Monday.
Cory Lum/Civil Beat
DHHL is preparing to offer 1,300 lots over the next five years to eligible families, according to William Aila, Jr., the chairman of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.
“We hope the relief program will keep families in a position where they’ll be ready to take those 1,300 lots when they become available,” he said at a press conference Monday.
The agency has also offered financial assistance for mortgage payments during the pandemic.
“Of course if the family’s income is zero, as in many of the situations that we have today, the department through Aloha United Way will cover the entire security deposit as well as rent for up to six months,” Aila said.
Applications must include two months of the most recent pay stubs, bank statements, rental and lease documents, two years of tax documents, and proof that their unemployment was caused by COVID-19.
Those interested in applying should call Aloha United Way’s 2-1-1 hotline to see if they’re eligible.
The COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program includes a total of $7 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant (NHHBG) funds from the federal government.
The funds are approved under the Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act (NAHASDA) and other federal laws, Aila said.
While Hawaii seems to have flattened the curve of the rate of COVID-19 infection, its unemployment rate has grown from 3% to more than 35% and is now considered the highest in the nation.
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