HONOLULU (KHON2) — The City and County of Honolulu is encouraging individuals and families to apply for the Rental and Utility Relief Program if they are struggling financially due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program has received 6,000 applications in the round that started on Monday, June 7, out of 10,000 total application spots. There are 4,000 remaining application spots as of Thursday, June 10.
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The executive director of the Office of Economic Revitalization said helping those who are going through tough financial times is a top priority.
“Helping struggling individuals and families to get back on their feet is a top priority. We encourage renters who have not already applied to visit oneoahu.org/renthelp to learn more. On the webpage you can review the Frequently Asked Questions, watch a webinar about the program, and click on the link to apply.”Amy Asselbaye, Office of Economic Revitalization executive director
Applicants earning 50% of Oʻahu’s annual median income or lower will be prioritized due to federal guidelines. Households must demonstrate financial harm from the pandemic and have at least one member at risk of losing housing to qualify. A household can also qualify if at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days at the time of application.
Officials say that households that have already applied should not do so again because duplicate applications may be declined and will cause delays in the review of applications.
The program will pay the following amounts to households that qualify:
- Up to $2,500 a month for unpaid rent and bills for electricity, sewer and water, and gas.
- Up to $2,000 a month for current or future rent payments.
- Up to $500 a month for current or future bills for electricity, water and sewer, and gas.
- Bills going back to March 13, 2020, current bills, or three months of future bills.
- Payments can be made for up to 12 months.
Payments are made directly to a landlord or utility, and officials say that landlords can apply on behalf of their tenants if they have their tenants’ written consent.
The next round will open on Monday, July 12, 2021.