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City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program to reopen May 3 at 2 p.m.
By News Release @ 10:23 AM :: 1469 Views :: Honolulu County, Economy, COVID-19

City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program to reopen May 3 at 2 p.m.

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, May 1, 2021

HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu is reopening the Rental and Utility Relief Program portal for a second round of 4,000 applications on Monday, May 3, 2021, at 2 p.m.  Applications will be accepted at oneoahu.org/renthelp.

“We look forward to the opportunity to help more Oʻahu households that are struggling with their rent and bills for electricity, sewer and water, and gas because of the pandemic,” said Executive Director of the Office of Economic Revitalization Amy Asselbaye. “We urge anyone who may be eligible to apply.”

“We have several layers of rigorous controls to ensure accountability and prevent fraud,” added Asselbaye. “Rooting out fraud causes delays in funding for our neighbors who are truly at risk of losing their housing. As a reminder to the public, fraudulent applications may be referred to law enforcement.”

The second round of applications has an income limit of 50% of the annual median income for Oʻahu households, due to federal prioritization guidelines. For a family of four, the 50% level 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 their housing. A household can also qualify if a household member has been unemployed for at least 90 days at the time of application AND is still unemployed at the time of application.

Size of Household / Annual Income Limit to Qualify

  • 1 person  Less than $44,100 a year
  • 2 people  Less than $50,400 a year
  • 3 people  Less than $56,700 a year
  • 4 people  Less than $62,950 a year
  • 5 people  Less than $68,000 a year
  • 6 people  Less than$73,050 a year
  • 7 people  Less than $78,100 a year
  • 8 people  Less than $83,100 a year

The City’s community partners have begun making payments to landlords and utility companies. The program is funded with $114 million in federal COVID relief money and the City expects to continue assisting Oʻahu households with rental and utility relief until all funds are expended.

For households that qualify, the program will pay:

  • Up to $2,500 a month for unpaid rent and electricity, sewer and water, or gas bills
  • Up to $2,000 for current or future rent payments
  • Up to $500 a month for current or future electricity, water and sewer, or gas bills
  • Bills going back to March 13, 2020, current bills, or future bills
  • Total payments can be as many as 12 months

Payments are made directly to a landlord or utility. Mortgages are not eligible because of federal guidelines.

Once the program has 4,000 applications, it will temporarily close to allow the City’s community partners to process applications and make payments. Future rounds of applications will open the first working Monday of each month, as long as the program has funding. The third round will open on Monday, June 7, 2021.

Please visit oneoahu.org/renthelp to review the Frequently Asked Questions. The community can also call the City’s call center at (808) 768-CITY (2489). The call center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., seven days a week, excluding City holidays.

—PAU—

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