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By News Release @ 10:05 PM :: 2034 Views :: Honolulu County, Ethics, COVID-19

City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program will temporarily reopen on June 13

News Release from City and County of Honolulu, June 7, 2023

HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu’s Rental and Utility Relief Program (RURP), an essential resource for thousands of Oʻahu residents and families who suffered severe financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, will temporarily reopen for new applications from Oʻahu renters later this month.

Starting at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, 2023, 2,000 new applications will be accepted at revitalizeoahu.org/renthelp. That will be followed by in-person application events across the island in the coming months.

“The Rental and Utility Relief Program has played a significant role not just in our administration’s housing strategy, but in the lives of countless O’ahu residents who have been able to stay safely housed during some of our island’s darkest times,” said Mayor Rick Blangiardi. “Together, we have been able to keep thousands of rental units at affordable rates and help struggling renters stay housed for the long-term with Housing Stabilization Services. Mahalo to the Honolulu City Council for helping our neighbors continue to make ends meet with $25 million for this temporary reopening.”

Since launching in April 2021, the Rental and Utility Relief Program has helped more than 16,000 Oʻahu families who were struggling with housing expenses, distributing — in partnership with Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi (CCH) and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) — roughly $216 million in federal funds.

Applications will be funded by $25 million in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds which were approved by the Honolulu City Council on February 22, 2023.

“We at the Council are certainly excited to see the continuation of this critical program. As many of you may be aware, the City’s Rental and Utility Relief Program has been recognized as one of the most effective rental relief programs in the entire country, and when we look closer at who this program is truly benefiting, it is clear that this program is making an impact,” said Honolulu City Council Chair Tommy Waters. “This is really going to allow us to help stabilize families that are currently experiencing economic hardship while continuing to look at the ways we can change the trajectory of our City in the long term.”

New Applicants

This temporary reopening is only for new applicants to the Rental and Utility Relief Program, who can qualify for up to six months of assistance with rent and utility bills. Renters should submit only one application, as duplicate applications will reduce the number of renters who receive help and slow down the processing of submitted applications.

New applicants are encouraged to review income limits and eligibility information in the FAQ at revitalizeoahu.org/renthelp.

Renters Already Enrolled in RURP

Current RURP renters who are at or below 30% of Honolulu’s area median income ($39,300 a year for a family of four) with at least three months of eligibility remaining can ask for up to three months of additional support (maximum of 18 months of assistance total). One recertification request per household.

Eligible requests will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Funds are limited and not all eligible requests will be processed.

To request additional help, renters should contact the designated organization they applied with: CCH at rurp.recert@catholiccharitieshawaii.org or CNHA at RURP@hawaiiancouncil.org, starting June 13 at 2 p.m. Requests made before then will not be processed.

In-Person Enrollment Events

In addition to the internet application portal, the City, CCH, and CNHA will hold in-person enrollment events throughout Oʻahu communities to reach new applicants who may not be able to apply online. Mahalo to Councilmember Andria Tupola for helping coordinate the first enrollment event, currently scheduled to take place on June 19, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Nānākuli Public Library (89-070 Farrington Hwy., Waiʻanae, HI 96792).

Renters should call (808) 940-5209 or (808) 940-6993 to RSVP to the event. Future community application events will be listed on revitalizeoahu.org/renthelp.

—PAU—

Oct, 2022: Dirty OHA Contract is Model for CNHA Takeover of Tourism Marketing

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