HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of Hawaiian Home lands is launching a new initiative in conjunction with the Aloha United Way to help beneficiaries who remain on the waiting list for housing.

The COVID-19 emergency rental assistance program will tap into a $7 million grant to provide the rental assistance to native Hawaiian families both on and off of Hawaiian Home Lands.

DHHL director William Aila says eligible beneficiaries must provide the necessary documentation including proof of job or income loss, as well as two months of bank statements and two years of tax returns.

“The benefit to getting those documents calling 211 talking to Aloha United Way is that you will have peace of mind at least for the next six months,” said DHHL director William Aila. “With the reopening of the economy, hopefully back at work and making enough to pay your rent then enough to make a living and succeed here in Hawaii.”

Eligible renters could receive anything from a security deposit and all the way up to full rent for as long as six months.

Aila believes the program could save more than 2,500 households from eviction.