KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — All Native Hawaiians are eligible for the Native Hawaiian Rental & Utilities Relief Program.

Previously this assistance was only for those of 50% Hawaiian ancestry that are on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Waiting List.

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This money is a part of the DHHL COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program with $5 million in funds from the federal American Rescue Plan of 2021.

The money goes directly to the companies that are owed money. You can apply for help to catch up on back payments or to make payments moving forward.

To qualify for the new program, applicants must:

  • Be native Hawaiian and living in the State of Hawai’i
  • Rent housing in the State of Hawai’i
  • Be 18 years or older
  • Prove income loss due to unemployment or loss of work for more than 90 days, a reduction in household income, or homelessness/housing instability
  • Meet income qualification-less than 80% Area Median Income (AMI). Amount differs by county

Applications will be available until the money is gone.

To apply visit https://www.hawaiiancouncil.org/kokua.

The program is done in a partnership with Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement.