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DHHL rental assistance extended to UI lessees

The Maui News

The state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has expanded its COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program to include undivided interest lessees who have lost income or their job as a result of COVID-19.

DHHL’s program provides eligible beneficiaries with rental assistance using $7 million in Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant funds that were made available in accordance with the Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act and other federal laws.

The program is administered by Aloha United Way and was initially launched on May 11 to eligible Native Hawaiians on DHHL’s applicant waiting list.

At its board meeting in June, the Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the rental relief program’s expansion to the 814 remaining undivided interest lessees.

The UI Awards Program was launched in 2005 to produce more homesteading opportunities to applicants on the waiting list. The department issued 1,434 UI leases that provided an undivided interest on the homelands while beneficiaries prepared for homeownership.

In addition to the expanded offering to undivided interest lessees, beneficiaries on the waiting list as of Dec. 31, 2018, who have who have experienced a loss of income or job as a result of COVID-19 are still eligible to apply. Beneficiaries may receive assistance for the payment of their security deposit and/or rent for up to six months.

To apply for the program, beneficiaries must provide documents showing a loss of income or job as a result of COVID-19.

For more information, call Aloha United Way at 2-1-1. For information on COVID-19 impacts on DHHL activities, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/covid-19.

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