HONOLULU (KHON2) — The City and County of Honolulu announced it will resume the Rental and Utility Relief Program on Monday, June 7.
The program will accept up to 10,000 applications from individuals and families in need.
“The City and our community partners urge any eligible Oahu households that have not applied already to strongly consider applying for help paying their rent and bills for electricity, water and sewer and gas,” said Executive Director of the Office of Economic Revitalization Amy Asselbaye. “We thank everyone for their patience as we work with our community partners in verifying each household’s income, lease and eligibility documents. By working together, we will keep thousands of our neighbors in their homes.”
In the program’s first eight weeks, nearly 2,000 households received more than $15.3 million in rent and utility payments. For comparison, the 2020 household relief program provided $2.1 million in help in its first 12 weeks.
- Gather needed documents. There is a complete list of required documents here.
- Make sure only one person per household applies. Multiple applications from the same household will be disallowed and delay processing applications for other households in need.
- Don’t apply for mortgage help. The program cannot pay for delinquent mortgages due to federal guidelines.
Those who have already applied in the first two rounds should not apply again.
For households that qualify, the program will pay:
- Up to $2,500 a month for unpaid rent and electric, sewer and water, or gas bills.
- Up to $2,000 a month for current or future rent payments.
- Up to $500 a month for current or future electric, water and sewer, and gas bills.
- Bills going back to March 13, 2020, current bills, or three months of future bills.
- Total payments can be as many as 12 months.
Applicants should expect that:
- Being accepted into the program does not mean immediate payment to a landlord or utility. The City’s community partners must verify if an applicant qualifies, including confirming income limits and validating documents.
- Each landlord will have to submit a signed W-9 tax document. Landlords who delay submitting a W-9 will delay the payment process.
- Applicants earning 50% of Oahu’s annual median income or lower will be prioritized due to federal guidelines. For a household of four, that is $62,950 a year or less. In addition, to qualify a household must demonstrate financial harm from the pandemic and have at least one member at risk of losing housing.
- A household can also qualify if at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days at the time of application.
Payments are made directly to a landlord or utility.
The City will also conduct a webinar on Thursday, June 3, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. about the application process. It will be hosted at the One Oahu Facebook page, which can be found here.
The portal will open the first working Monday of each month, as long as the program has funding. The next round will open on Monday, July 12, 2021.
For more information, click here. If the FAQ doesn’t answer your questions, call (808) 768-2489. The City’s call center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week.
To apply, click here.