$4.4M in rent assistance disbursed

Six Hawaii Island-based nonprofit organizations announced Friday the Hawaii County Rent and Mortgage Assistance Program has disbursed $4.4 million in housing assistance grants as of Oct. 22, helping address the housing needs of 2,636 Hawaii Island children and adults since late August.

The program was funded by the county of Hawaii with $7.25 million of Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds for housing assistance grants to support local workers and working families the impacted by COVID-19.

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Applications remain open for qualified households. Funds are expended on a first-come, first-serve basis.

To qualify, Hawaii Island residents must be at least 18 years old, lost income or work hours due to COVID-19, and live in households that earn at or below 140% area median income to apply. In addition, a recent program change was approved by the county that will now allow individuals who have had to quit work or reduce their work hours in order to provide childcare due to COVID-19 to qualify for housing assistance.

For more information and how to apply, visit sites.google.com/view/hawaiicountyrmap.

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County residents who meet the qualifications may be eligible for up to $2,000 per month for rent, lease, or mortgage payments as far back as March, 2020. Qualified applicants are able to receive reimbursements if they used savings, loans, and credit cards to make housing payments during COVID-19.

Applications are processed by six Hawaii Island-based nonprofits. Approved applicants also have access to financial counseling services.

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