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Hawaii County launches buyout program for homes damaged, destroyed or cut off by 2018 eruption

(Image: GREG CHUNN)
(Image: GREG CHUNN)
Updated: Apr. 24, 2021 at 2:51 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii County will accept applications beginning April 30 for the first phase of the Kilauea housing buyout program.

Homeowners with properties that were used as primary residences at the time of the 2018 Kilauea eruption will be eligible to apply.

The county reported that the eruption on Kilauea’s Lower East Rift Zone destroyed 612 homes, including 294 primary residences.

To qualify for the buyout program, properties must have been impacted by lava inundation or isolation. Property damage by fires caused by lava or secondary effects of volcanic activity, such as heating or gases, are also eligible.

The program received $83.84 million in federal funding.

County officials said buyout offers will be based on the 2017 pre-eruption assessed market value, with a limit of $230,000.

Applicants must have owned the property at the time of the eruption.

The following is the application timeline for the three phases:

  • Phase 1 (primary residences): April 30 through July 30
  • Phase 2 (secondary residences): Nov. 1 through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Phase 3 (undeveloped properties): May 2, 2022, through July 29, 2022

The county said it also starting a Housing Relocation Services Program on April 30 to help residents displaced by the eruption find permanent housing.

Based on income, both property owners and long-term renters who were displaced will be eligible for this program.

For more information on the programs or to apply, click here.

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