Hawaii’s eviction moratorium expires on Friday, but state leaders said tenants in nearly every county across the state who are behind on their rent due to pandemic-related financial strife now qualify for protection under a new federal freeze on evictions.

Governor David Ige prepares to remove mask before speaking at Prince David Kawananakoa Middle School press conference on the opening of schools for in person instruction.
Governor David Ige said in a prepared statement on Friday that he encourages tenants who’ve fallen behind on their rent payments due to pandemic-related reasons to apply for emergency rental assistance. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2021

The federal order applies to tenants in regions experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections, and the office of Gov. David Ige clarified on Friday that nearly all eligible Hawaii residents can access the 60-day extension — except for the small number of people who live in Kalawao County, which includes Molokai’s Kalaupapa peninsula where there is currently a low rate of COVID-19 transmission.

To be eligible, tenants in Honolulu, Hawaii, Maui and Kauai counties must attest that they have made efforts to obtain all governmental assistance for housing that’s available to them. Eligible tenants also cannot have income topping $99,000 for individuals or $198,000 for joint filers.

Protection from eviction does not come automatically to those who qualify, however.

Tenants who qualify for the order should fill out the CDC declaration form and provide a signed copy of the form to their landlord in order to be protected from eviction.

The temporary eviction ban will continue until a county no longer has substantial or high levels of community transmission for 14 consecutive days or on Oct. 3, whichever comes sooner.

Currently the CDC COVID Data Tracker shows all the major Hawaii counties are experiencing substantial or high rates of COVID-19 transmission. If a county in the state falls below the substantial or high thresholds, tenants in that county would no longer be eligible for the protections provided by the federal eviction moratorium.

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