County Emergency Rental Assistance Program launched
WAILUKU — Mayor Michael Victorino last week announced that the federally funded Maui County Emergency Rental Assistance Program will start accepting online applications immediately from Maui County households.
“We want to help both tenants and landlords who are struggling financially from the economic effects of COVID-19,” Mayor Victorino said.
“The Emergency Rental Assistance Program is a powerful way to get assistance to those who need it most by helping to pay overdue rent or household utility bills.”
Those interested in more information or want to apply should go to the following website: https://mauicounty.gov/MauiRentHelp.
The Maui County Emergency Rental Assistance Program Help Line is (808) 873-4673.
The program requires a qualifying household to:
1) Show financial harm from the pandemic, such as qualifying for unemployment, job loss, reduction in wages or increase in household expenses.
2) Show at least one household member is at risk of losing their housing;
3) Have a household income at or below 80 percent of the area median income for Maui County.
Priority will be given to applicants who have a household income less than 50 percent of the area median income for Maui County, OR have at least one household member who has been unemployed for at least 90 days at the time of application and is still unemployed at the time of application
Only one person per household should apply. In addition, landlords may apply on behalf of their tenants, with the tenants’ permission.
To apply for assistance, households must first complete an online pre-screening form. Once the pre-screening form has been received and reviewed, applicants will be contacted with further guidance on next steps.
For households that qualify, the program will pay:
Up to $2,500 a month in rent and utility arrears;
Up to $2,000 for future rent payments;
Up to $500 a month for future electric, water and sewer, and gas bills.
Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance. Payments will be made directly to a landlord or utility.
The Maui County Emergency Rental Assistance Program can provide assistance toward bills going back to March 13, 2020, current bills, or future bills, depending on a household’s needs.
Households who have received previous rent or utility assistance from other COVID-19 relief programs and are in need of further assistance are also encouraged to apply.
Program staff will verify previous assistance received to prevent duplication of services.
Catholic Charities Hawaii has been selected to administer the program in partnership with the County of Maui.
“We know that our community is still experiencing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and that many residents are still in need of assistance,” said Catholic Charities Hawaii President and CEO Rob Van Tassell.
“This emergency rental assistance program is meant to keep tenants in their homes and safely sheltered, while ensuring landlords are properly compensated. We thank Mayor Victorino and the Maui County Council for allowing Catholic Charities Hawaii to be a part of this important program.”