With Hawaii emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are still struggling financially as businesses attempt to reopen. For those needing assistance, rent and utility relief are still available for Maui and Oahu residents through programs administered by Catholic Charities Hawaii.
Maui County program
Assistance from the Maui County Emergency Rental and Utility Assistance Program (MERA) is still available for Maui County residents who qualify.
As of mid-June, the county program has helped more than 250 households make overdue rent payments in excess of $675,000.
For households that qualify, the program will pay:
- Up to $2,500 a month in rent and utility arrears
- Up to $2,000 for future rent payments
- Up to $500 a month for future electric, water and sewer, and gas bills
- Eligible households may receive up to 12 months of assistance
- Payments will be made directly to a landlord or utility company
MERA can provide assistance towards bills going back to March 13, 2020, current bills, or future bills, depending on a household’s needs. Households who have received previous rent or utility assistance from other COVID-19 relief programs and are in need of further assistance are also encouraged to apply.
Those who would like more information or want to apply should go to: https://mauicounty.gov/MauiRentHelp for more information or call Maui County’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program Help Line at: 808-873-4673.
Honolulu City & County program
To give more people access to rental and utility assistance on Oahu, the City and County of Honolulu and its community partners are increasing the income limit for the Rental and Utility Relief Program to households at or below 80% of Oʻahu’s median income.
For a family of four, that increases the income limit from $62,950 a year to $100,700. See the next slide for household incomes from one person to eight people.
Visit oneoahu.org/renthelp for more information and how to apply.