[Hilo, HI] – Seven local nonprofit organizations joined today to announce the launch of the Hawaiʻi County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Program applications will be available starting Monday, April 12th, at 8 am.
ERAP nonprofit partners are encouraging Hawaiʻi Island residents who are at least 18 years old and lost income due to COVID-19 to prepare ahead to apply when applications open.
ERAP is funded by the County of Hawaiʻi through federal funding and will provide rent and utility grants to an estimated 3,400 households that income qualify and can prove hardship due to COVID-19 for each month they receive assistance from March 2020 to December 2021. Funding will be limited to households' primary residence on Hawaiʻi Island. Households will be limited to 12 months of total grant assistance.
The Hawaiʻi County ERAP will be led by local nonprofit community development financial institution, Hawaiʻi Community Lending. Six Hawaiʻi Island-based nonprofit partners will process applications and payments will be made directly to landlords, property managers, or utility providers. Approved applicants will also have access to financial counseling and other housing stability services.
ERAP nonprofit partners include:
· HOPE Services Hawaiʻi (HOPE)
· Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union (HFFCU)
· Neighborhood Place of Puna (NPP)
· Habitat for Humanity Hawaiʻi Island (HFHHI)
· The Salvation Army (TSA)
· Hawaiʻi County Economic Opportunity Council (HCEOC)
"We are honored to be able to provide relief to our local families by alleviating some of the financial pressures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth. "With the help of local nonprofit organizations, we will keep the roofs over the heads of 3,400 households, and that, to me, is something pretty special. Through continued partnerships and the community's support, we can and will thrive through this pandemic – together!”
Households who have been impacted, directly or indirectly, by COVID-19 and are past due on their rent and/or utilities should apply through one of the nonprofit partners. Persons without internet access or a computer are encouraged to call one of the ERAP nonprofit partners to request a paper application or complete an application over the phone. See above for more information on how to apply.