U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz has announced that more than $1.8 million in federal funds will help support Hawaii renters through the Housing Choice Voucher program, more commonly known as Section 8.

More than $1 million will go to the state Public Housing Authority, which administers vouchers on Oahu.  The County of Maui, which manages its own separate Section 8 program, will receive a $789,655 grant.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz said in a press release that the money will help current voucher holders who are affected by the pandemic.

Section 8 voucher holders usually pay 30% of their income toward rent but the federal CARES Act says that renters who lost income during the pandemic can pay less and the new federal funds will make up the difference.

The press release said 13,000 Hawaii households rely on Section 8. The Public Housing Authority recently opened its applications for the first time in four years to hold a lottery to craft a waitlist to award 750 new subsidies, but technical problems plagued the lottery and the state plans to re-do it.

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