HONOLULU (KHON2) — A new rent relief program launched Wednesday as thousands of local residents continue to feel financial impacts stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

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The Rent Assistance and Mediation Program (RAMP) will aim to provide financial assistance to Hawaii renters who have experienced a reduction in income as a result of unemployment or a reduction in work hours amid the pandemic. The $6-million program, administered by Catholic Charities Hawaii (CCH), focuses on helping tenants avoid eviction by providing rental payments for unpaid rent and mediation services.

Rental payments will be considered from Jan. 1 with a statewide cap of $1,500 per household per month. A maximum of up to two months total of past due and ongoing assistance can be provided, says CCH.

“In dealing with the continual economic fallout from COVID-19, this emergency rental assistance program is meant to keep tenants in their homes and safely sheltered, while ensuring landlords are properly compensated,” said Catholic Charities Hawaii CEO and President Rob Van Tassell. “With the conclusion of the state’s Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program (RRHAP), this available funding will be a bridge to other potential rent relief programs involving COVID 19-related federal funding.”

Applicants who have already received funding from the state through the RRHAP will have to re-apply for RAMP funding.

To qualify for the RAMP program:

  • Full-time Hawaii residents with a valid and current lease agreement of six months or longer
  • Must demonstrate a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Must have a gross household annual income that does not exceed 100 percent of the HUD Area Median Income for 2020.

CCH says there will be three ways to apply for the program:

  • Applying online.
  • Downloading an electronic form from the CCH website.
  • Submitting a requested mailed application. Requests for an application can be mailed, faxed or emailed upon request between Jan. 6 and Jan. 13. 

To request an application via email, contact COVID19help@catholiccharitieshawaii.org

Mailed applications can be sent to:

  • 1822 Keeaumoku St., Honolulu, HI. 96822 or faxed to 808-527-4439

Online Application will be open between Jan. 11 and Jan. 13 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Standard mail in applications, fax applications or email applications must be post marked or sent by Jan. 18.

When completing the application, CCH recommends the following:

  • Let your landlord know that you are applying for rental assistance and have their contact information readily available, especially if you are applying online.
  • Please ensure that you double check your email before submitting as this will be the main mode of notification and communication.
  • Actively check and monitor the email address you have provided (especially your spam/junk folder) and actively check your voicemail.
  • Please ensure that the voicemail on the phone number you list is set up and not full

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