First phase of Kīlauea housing buyout program to begin April 30

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(United States Geological Survey photo)

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The County of Hawaii announced the first phase of its Kīlauea Disaster Recovery Voluntary Housing Buyout Program (VHBP) will begin accepting applications on Friday, April 30.

According to County officials, Phase 1 will address properties used as a primary residence during the 2018 eruption.

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One disaster recovery officer says the program will help residents impacted by the 2018 eruption get back on their feet.

“The 2018 eruption upended the lives of lower Puna residents, and many who lost a home are still needing help with finding secure, permanent housing. This federally-funded program will help them get back on their feet and address an urgent need following the disaster while reducing risks from future eruption.”

Douglas Le, Hawaii County Kīlauea disaster recovery officer

The VHBP is funded by $83.84 million from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery program.

Buyout offers will have a limit of $230,000 and will be based on pre-eruption assessed market values from 2017.

Phase 2 of the VHBP is scheduled to begin in November 2021 and Phase 3 is set to begin in May 2022.

County officials say the 2018 eruption at Kīlauea’s Lower East Rift Zone destroyed 612 homes, 294 of which were primary residences.

Click here to download a digital application form for Phase 1 starting on April 30. Call the Kīlauea Disaster Recovery Division at (808) 961-8996 or email kilaueabuyout@hawaiicounty.gov for a paper copy.

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