State hopes to help thousands of struggling families with new rent relief program

State hopes to help thousands of struggling families with new rent relief program

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state has launched a new, federally-funded rent relief program aimed at helping struggling families — and keeping them in their homes.

Officials said they hope to help as many as 10,000 people through the program.

The relief is available to those who are unemployed or partially unemployed because of the pandemic. There are also income requirements. Payments issued through the program go directly to landlords.

For more information on the program, click here.

The announcement comes as Oahu extends its stay-at-home for order for two more weeks, keeping non-essential businesses closed and banning non-essential activities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout have left tens of thousands of Hawaii residents on unemployment and shuttered businesses.

John Fink, president and CEO of Aloha United Way, called the situation facing many Hawaii families “dire” and said they need all the help they can get. “This is a moment to embrace solutions.”

Aloha United Way and Catholic Charities will accept and process applications for the rent relief program. Officials said they tried to streamline the process as much as possible.

Application processing times were expected to take two to three weeks.

This story will be updated.

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