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Thursday, July 11, 2024
Hotel Housing for Lahaina Survivors Ends
By News Release @ 11:28 PM :: 666 Views :: Maui County

STATE OF HAWAIʻI SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDES NON-CONGREGATE SHELTERING (NCS) PROGRAM WITH SUPPORT FROM FEMA, ARC AND PARTNER AGENCIES

News Release from HI-EMA, July 11, 2024

LAHAINA, MAUI – The state of Hawaiʻi is honored to announce the successful conclusion of its Non-Congregate Sheltering program, which provided critical shelter and assistance to 7,796 individuals and 3,071 households displaced by the Lahaina wildfires. This program, managed by the state and the American Red Cross (ARC) and funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has played a pivotal role in the recovery efforts following the devastation.

This accomplishment underscores the commitment and efforts involving numerous partner agencies, organizations and the tireless work of hundreds, if not thousands of supporters. All have been instrumental in ensuring that those affected by the August 2023 wildfires in Lahaina received the care and shelter they needed. More than 2,500 workers and volunteers served the NCS mission, and the efforts of the NCS Task Force resulted in more than 1,600 intermediate housing solutions for impacted families. The program was also extended several times, until all families were able to get into their next step housing solutions. As these individuals and families embarked on their journey to recovery, the NCS program provided a safe and stable environment for them to begin rebuilding their lives.

“The successful transition from emergency response to recovery and intermediate housing marks a significant milestone in our collective efforts to support those impacted by the wildfires,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “This achievement is a testament to the dedication and collaboration of all involved, and we are grateful for the unwavering support from FEMA, ARC, and our many partner organizations. Additionally, I extend my heartfelt mahalo to all the hotels and condo operators for their immediate support following the fires. Their generosity and swift action provided critical shelter and comfort to countless families during a time of immense need.”

As the NCS program concludes, the state, in collaboration with FEMA and other supporting organizations like the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) and Global Empowerment Mission (GEM), has successfully transitioned many individuals and families from emergency shelters to more stable intermediate housing solutions. These solutions include the state’s Rental Assistance Program (RAP) and FEMA’s direct lease program, among others.

The state’s RAP program, alongside housing initiatives by CNHA and other supportive organizations, has been critical in providing a variety of housing solutions tailored to meet the diverse needs of those affected. This multifaceted approach has ensured that no one is left behind as the community rebuilds.

“The collaboration in supporting those affected by the wildfires has been unparalleled,” said Brad Kieserman, vice president of Disaster Operations and Logistics for the American Red Cross. “We’re proud to have worked alongside our partners, including CNHA, on co-creating housing solutions that meet their unique needs and have been inspired by the NCS workforce to respond quickly. The road to recovery is long, but we remain embedded in the Maui community, to continue finding community-led solutions and building resilience in the long term.”

As we celebrate this achievement with NCS, all partners remain steadfast in their commitment to supporting those affected by the wildfires. The state, alongside federal and nonprofit partners, will persist in providing essential resources and assistance, ensuring that every individual and family has the opportunity to rebuild and thrive. The collective resilience and unity of our community will continue to drive us forward as we transition from recovery to long-term stability and growth for all residents of Maui.

Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency Administrator James Barros also expressed gratitude for the comprehensive efforts. “The conclusion of the NCS program highlights our commitment to caring for our residents in times of crisis,” said Barros. “The collaboration and kākou (unity) shown by all partner agencies and supporters exemplify the spirit of Hawaiʻi. Together, we have demonstrated the power of community and the profound impact of unified efforts in the face of adversity. With aloha, we will continue to work together to ensure a smooth transition to long-term recovery and housing solutions.”

FEMA’s Regional Administrator Robert Fenton acknowledged the agency’s strong partnerships with the state, the community and the Red Cross, as well as the tireless efforts of all involved to help the people of Lahaina recover. “We’ve been able to successfully put everyone into a more stable housing solution as we continue to work to provide more secure housing,” Fenton said.

These combined government and community efforts put the people of Maui first, with a focus on helping them heal and rebuild.

CB: State Ends Shelter Program For Maui Wildfire Survivors - Honolulu Civil Beat

  *   *   *   *   *

GOVERNOR GREEN ANNOUNCES INTERIM HOUSING PROGRAM FOR MAUI WILDFIRE SURVIVORS

News Release from Office of the Governor, July 2, 2024

HONOLULU – Governor Josh Green, M.D., today announced that Maui residents displaced by the catastrophic wildfires of August 8, 2023, may now apply for the state of Hawaiʻi Interim Housing Program (HIHP). The wildfires, among the most destructive in Hawaiʻi’s history, caused extensive damage, displaced thousands of residents, and destroyed homes, businesses, and essential infrastructure. HIHP is managed by the Hawaiʻi Office of Recovery and Resiliency (HORR) in partnership with the state Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC). HIHP offers rapid and vital housing relief to affected households.

(TRANSLATION:  All remaining Lahaina survivors are evicted from their hotel rooms effective June 30, 2024.)

“This program adds a new energy to the many initiatives we have launched as part of our supporting the recovery of Maui’s people from the wildfires,” said Governor Green. “Every day, families and individuals have been able to leave temporary lodging in hotels to be placed in longer-term housing.”

Recalling his live address to the people on August 18, 2023, Governor Green continued, “I said that I would do everything in my power as governor to bring us back, to help us heal, and to find a way to move forward past this tragedy – and that I am personally making sure that Maui receives every possible resource available from the federal government, from the private sector, and from around the world, and that all of it gets to the people who need it.”

The goal of this initiative is to provide as many options for the Maui survivors as possible, since each household has unique circumstances and needs. The properties have a mix of studio-, one-, two- and three-bedroom units and modular homes. The house lots are being designed mindfully, so multi-generational families can be clustered together to maintain a sense of community as our wildfire survivors continue their healing journey.

Eligibility Requirements:

Households may qualify for HIHP if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • Resided in Maui County before the disaster
  • Were displaced from their primary residence due to the Maui wildfires
  • Experienced disaster-related unemployment resulting in the loss of their home

(TRANSLATION: Some of the people put up in hotels as ‘survivors’ don’t meet these three qualifications.)

Households are encouraged to apply even if they are unsure of their eligibility. There is no cost to apply, and those placed in interim housing will not be required to pay rent or utility bills through August 2025.

Interim Housing Sites: 

HIHP includes several state-sponsored interim housing sites dedicated to Maui wildfire recovery, for example:

  • Ka Laʻi Ola, currently in construction in West Maui, will offer up to 450 modular homes once completed
  • Hale ‘O Lā‛ie (formerly the Haggai Institute in Kīhei) currently has more than 150 units

[Please note that not all sites or units are currently completed and the matching of eligible households to available and suitable units will continue as the state makes more units available in the days, weeks, and months ahead.]

Application Requirements:

HIHP applicants may need to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of identity (no citizenship requirement)
  • Proof of pre-disaster residency in Maui County
  • Evidence of disaster caused income loss and inability to pay rent or mortgage resulting in the loss of your pre-disaster residence
  • Documentation of any other assistance received related to the Maui fires

(TRANSLATION: Filtering out the mooches.)

Application Process:

Applications should include all individuals intending to reside in the interim housing unit and specify any accommodation requests to ensure appropriate housing placement. While applying does not guarantee eligibility or placement, eligible households will be matched with available units based on their specific needs and the availability of suitable housing. All household members aged 18 and older must undergo a background check, with results evaluated on an individual and household basis.

“We are happy for the opportunity to assist the Maui fire survivors by providing them housing options at Hale O Lā‛ie,” said Dean Minakami, executive director of the Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation. HHFDC negotiated the purchase of the property and is overseeing improvements to the complex on behalf of the state.

“We are also pleased to be working with other agencies to provide interim affordable housing in Lahaina located mauka of the Villages of Leialiʻi,” he said. “And we look forward to completing the first permanent units in Lahaina at our Kaiāulu o Kukuʻia site.”

“As Maui recovers from the fires, we commend the Governor for his willingness to adapt to the needs of the community. We remain committed and united to support the people and places of Maui,” said Hawai‘i Community Foundation CEO Micah Kāne.

For more information and to apply, visit https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hhfdc/hawaiistaterecovers/ or call 1-808-727-1550. Translation assistance is available for those with limited English proficiency.

# # #

June 24, 2024: 500 Lahaina Victims Still in Hotels--Deadline June 30 

HNN: Housing advocates urge governor to extend emergency proclamation for Maui wildfires (youtube.com)

CN: Hawaii governor announces interim housing for Maui wildfire survivors | Courthouse News Service

SA: 2 Maui housing sites to accommodate wildfire survivors 

SA: Off the news: Sign up now for Maui interim housing | Honolulu Star-Advertiser 

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