In early September, the State of Hawaii started the Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program to provide much needed financial help for renters and homeowners impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Catholic Charities Hawaii was given the opportunity to help administer the program funded by the federal CARES Act. Acutely aware of the anxiety and stress in the community during these challenging times, we appreciated the opportunity to help our community during this crisis.
Acknowledging the urgency of the situation and given a December deadline to expend the CARES federal funding, we were handed the task of building a program in a very short period of time. For those who applied for the assistance program, we want to thank them for their patience and understanding as our dedicated and hard-working staff worked tirelessly to process applications and get rent relief out as quickly as possible.
As of this week, nearly 13,000 households were assisted by the state program with nearly $60 million distributed to those who qualified. Here is a written testimonial from a tenant who was the recipient of the emergency assistance funding:
“I am so grateful for the rent relief provided via Catholic Charities. The financial assistance has alleviated some of the financial burden and emotional stress during these trying times… Throughout the entire process, CCH staff’s communication was always prompt, caring and supportive, a much needed calm and reassurance throughout a very stressful time… I am beyond grateful for this much needed rent relief, and to Catholic Charities and their hard work and commitment to distributing these funds to the many Hawaii families in need.”
We know that there are still many in our community in need of relief and our hearts go out to those still seeking assistance. Even though the current program is now coming to an end, please check our website for any future updates.