Manpower added to process applications for rental assistance programs

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Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 9:12 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The agencies in charge of the state’s rental assistance program say tenants and landlords will soon get the help they’ve been waiting for.

More than 20,000 people applied for aid up to $2,000 a month on Oahu, and $1,500 a month on the neighbor islands.

Aloha United Way and Catholic Charities are helping to run the program. They hired nearly 200 people to handle all the requests, and they’re still catching up.

In the meantime, state officials are urging landlords and tenants to make rent compromises to avoid going to court when the eviction moratorium eventually ends.

“There is going to be a lot of emotion involved. Here you’ve got landlords who are very upset that they haven’t received rent, and you have tenants under a lot of financial stress because they don’t have any income,” Stephen Levins of the Office of Consumer Protection said.

“We have a systematic approach to getting through, it’s just simply the overwhelm of the system, and rapid increase, rapid on boarding,” Lisa Kimura of Aloha United Way said.

The state originally said it set aside $100 million for the program, which only lasts through the end of the year.

[Read a previous report: The state is sitting on $90M for housing aid and time is running out to distribute it]

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