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Rental, mortgage and utility help available

By Staff | Aug 20, 2021

WAILUKU — Renters and mortgage holders facing difficulties making their payments may qualify for assistance — including with back rent — and could receive information and help in applying for relief at Maui Economic Opportunity in-person outreach events and offices.

MEO staff will be available to provide help with reviewing and submitting applications, copying documents, taking photos and answering questions at the agency offices on the three islands of Maui County from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays by appointment. The Maui office is the MEO Family Center at 99 Mahalani St. in Wailuku (call 249-2970).

MEO also has community outreach events scheduled through the end of the year: Kihei Community Center, 8 a.m. to noon, Mondays Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 8, Dec. 20; Lahaina Civic Center, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesdays Sept. 8, Oct. 13 and Dec. 8; Hana Public Library by appointment at (808) 248-8282.

Programs include:

1) Maui Emergency Rental Assistance, run by Catholic Charities Hawaii, which offers back rent and utility assistance for up to a year. Applicants must be at 80 percent of adjusted median income for the area and show income loss due to COVID-19.

2) Community Development Block Grant mortgage and rental assistance program, which provides $2,500 a month for mortgage and $1,500 a month for rental assistance for up to six months. Applicants must show income loss due to COVID-19.

3) County Rental Assistance Program, which offers up to six months of assistance, including security and utility deposits. Residents may qualify for assistance if they have been impacted by COVID-19 — even if they have returned to work. MEO urges renters and mortgage holders facing difficulty making payments to apply for assistance no matter the circumstances, because the agency will work to match applicants with subsidies.

Applicants should bring a photo ID (driver’s license, state ID), Social Security cards, income documentation (pay stubs, unemployment benefit statements, income tax returns), lease or mortgage statements, COVID-19 income loss verification (letter from employer, unemployment statements), eviction notices, utility bills, birth certificates for children five and younger and asset documents (bank statements). More documents may be required depending on the program.

For more information, call MEO at 249-2970 or go to www.meoinc.org.