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Program offers aid for those on DHHL waiting list

The Maui News

A federally funded program is offering financial aid to Native Hawaiian renters on the state Department of Hawaiian Home Lands waiting list who are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonprofit Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement is accepting applications for the DHHL Rent Relief Program, which is funded by $2.4 million from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, according to a news release.

The program will provide eligible participants with payments for rent, back rent, security deposits, utility, home energy costs and other expenses related to housing incurred during the pandemic.

Funds from the program can be used to cover up to 12 months of rent and utilities, including rent as far back as March 13.

Currently, there are about 28,000 people on the waiting list, and the nonprofit estimated that nearly 20 percent of them may qualify for the emergency rental assistance.

To qualify, applicants must:

• Be on the DHHL applicant waiting list or be an undivided interest lessee in the state of Hawaii.

• Rent housing in the state of Hawaii.

• Be 18 years or older.

• Prove income loss due to unemployment or loss of work for more than 90 days, a reduction in household income or homelessness/housing instability.

• Meet income qualification — less than 80 percent area median income, which differs by county.

To view the most recent median income guidelines for Maui County, visit www. mauicounty.gov/1825/

Affordable-Sales-Price-Guidelines.

Applicants must also provide documentation of their residency, as well as proof of hardship and income statements. Payments will be made directly to vendors who are owed money.

For more information, visit www.hawaiiancouncil.org/dhhl.

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