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What is Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA)?

Renters and tenants who are behind in rental and/or utility payments or are unable to make these payments due to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) programs.  ERA may cover the following:

  • Payment plans for back rent
  • Future rent payments
  • Utilities (water, sewer, electric, etc.)
  • Internet services
  • Other expenses related to housing

Tenants are eligible to receive ERA if they have incomes of no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI) and meet the following requirements:

  • Priority is given to households with incomes of no more than 50% of AMI as well as to households in which one or more household members were unemployed for 90 days prior to application.
  • At least one member of the household has
    • qualified for unemployment benefits,
    • experienced a reduction in household income,
    • incurred significant costs, or
    • experienced other financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic.
  • At least one member of the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability.  This may include a past due rental or utility notice, an eviction notice unsafe or unhealthy living conditions (such as overcrowding), or any other evidence of risk.

Rental Assistance Resources in Hawaiʻi

Rental assistance is available for Hawaiʻi residents.  If you or anyone you know needs rental assistance, visit these programs below.  Each county has their own process and qualifications.

County Programs and Resources

  1. City and County Honolulu – One Oʻahu Rental and Utility Relief Program
  2. Hawaiʻi County – Hawaiʻi County Emergency Rental Assistance Program
  3. Kauaʻi County – Kauaʻi Rent Help
  4. Maui County – Maui Rent Help

Programs and Resources for Kānaka Maoli

  1. Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement – DHHL Rent Relief Program
  2. Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) – OHA’s Emergency Financial Assistance Program

Statewide Programs and Resources

  1. Aloha United Way
  2. AUW 2-1-1
  3. Hawaiʻi State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
  4. Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi

Federal Programs and Resources

  1. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  2. National Council of State Housing Agencies
  3. National Low Income Housing Coalition
  4. US Department of Housing and Urban Development
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