Hawai'i's Rental Assistance Program Distributed The Most Housing Support Per Capita In 2020
News Release from Aloha United Way
HONOLULU, Jan. 26, 2021 -- 13,709 Hawai'i households were assisted by the state's Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program (RRHAP), Aloha United Way (AUW), and Catholic Charities Hawai'i (CCH) and additional partners. The program, managed by Hawai'i Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), has been cited as a success story by local policy experts.
"Recent analysis by the Hawai'i Budget & Policy Center finds that this statewide program got out more housing assistance to help renters per capita than any other state effort across the country," said James Koshiba, founder of Hui Aloha, and a former Chair of the Hawai'i State House Subcommittee on COVID-19 & Housing. "To get $60 million out the door in just under three months plus expend funds for partners, systems, and administrative staffing is remarkable. The success of the program was due to heroic effort and sacrifices by AUW, CCH, and HHFDC."
In September, RRHAP was launched to provide much-needed financial assistance for renters/homeowners severely impacted by COVID-19. AUW has distributed nearly $21 million to applicants through partnerships with over a dozen non-profit agencies. Catholic Charities Hawai'i was able to distribute over $38 million.
The program received more than 18,300 applications in its first five weeks of operation and the program concluded on December 31, 2020.
$59,733,688 in housing assistance was approved for 13,709 households;
4,824 applications were denied due to ineligibility
$59,003,328 has been disbursed to 13,690 qualified households (as of January 13, 2021).
"Since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, many local families, including those from moderate-income households that never needed assistance before, found themselves struggling to make ends meet," said AUW President and CEO, John Fink. "With our 101 year history of service to our local community, AUW has been honored to be part of this effort during these unusual and challenging times."
Sixty-eight percent of households receiving RRHAP financial assistance were at 50% area median income (AMI) or lower. Fifteen percent of applicants reported no income.
About Aloha United Way
Founded in 1919, Aloha United Way brings resources, organizations, and businesses together to advance the health, education, and financial stability of every person in our community. A member of United Way Worldwide, AUW supports non-profits and communities on O'ahu.