Thousands inquire about state’s rental relief program, some have been helped

Coronavirus

HONOLULU (KHON2) — It’s been less than a week since the state launched a program that will help residents with rent.

[Hawaii news on the go–LISTEN to KHON 2GO weekday mornings at 7:30 a.m.]

On Sunday, Sept. 13, KHON2 learned that some qualified households have been helped. Officials knew that families were struggling and that there would be a great demand for rental relief. Both nonprofit groups administering the program said that they’ve already received thousands of inquiries.

“So far, we received about 2,500 phones from across the state and 850 emails inquiring about the program, so that demonstrates the urgent need in our community,” said President and CEO of Catholic Charities Hawaii Robert Van Tassell.

Aloha United Way also told KHON2 that it’s been getting double the amount of phone calls this past week.

You may be eligible if you’re unemployed or partially unemployed, and your household income is at or below 100-percent of the area median income.

Applying online is the quickest way.

“There are people, obviously, that don’t have digital technology available to them. They don’t have the website available to them. They will get mailed a form to start filling out so we don’t want those people to think that they are going to be locked out of this thing,” said John Fink, President and CEO of Aloha United Way.

Applications will be reviewed and approved on a first-come, first-served basis.

Van Tassell says it’s already helped those qualified.

“We have a payment system built in to this process, as well, so we’ve been able to make quite a number of payments to-date so far,” he said.

Payments are made directly to the landlord. Eligible renters could receive up to $2,000 each month on Oahu and up to $1,500 on the neighbor islands. The demand will likely not stop.

“This is going to continue as other people find themselves in need, perhaps in October or November depending on what happens with business and any unemployment opportunities or more federal money, which apparently is not going to be happening at this point in time,” said Fink.

If you would like to apply, click the following:

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