HONOLULU COUNTY EMERGENCY RENTERS’ ASSISTANCE
A household may be eligible for the Rental and Utility Relief Program if the following conditions are met: the household can demonstrate financial hardship as a result of the pandemic, at least one member is at risk of losing their housing, and
The household’s annual median income is at or below 80% of the national average. That equates to $96,650 or less per year for a family of four. The Frequently Asked Questions section contains a comprehensive list of income limits by household size.
Alternatively, a household may qualify if at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days prior to the application.
To prepare for the application, we recommend that only one person per household apply. Multiple applications from the same household will be denied, causing delays in processing applications for other needy households.
If anyone in your household has already applied, do not apply.
Collect all necessary documents. The FAQ contains a list of required documents.
Do not apply for mortgage assistance. Due to federal regulations, the program cannot pay for mortgages.
Rental Assistance Programs FAQs
Rental and Utility Relief Program
What is the Rental and Utility Relief Program?
- It’s a City and County of Honolulu program to help households that are struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic to pay their rent, utility bills, or both.
- For qualified households, the program pays up to:
○ Past rent and utility bills: $2,500 a month. The program can pay for bills going back to March 13, 2020.
○ Up to $2,000 a month for rent and up to $500 a month for utilities.
- Up to 12 months of total support is available.
- Payments are made directly to the landlord or utility.
What utilities does the program pay for?
- Electricity, water and sewer, and gas.
Does the program pay for phone or internet service bills?
- It can pay for internet bills. Our community partners will help determine qualifications for paying internet service bills.
Does the program pay for mortgages?
- We know owning a home is a big investment.
- Unfortunately, federal regulations do not allow the program to pay for mortgages.
- For more information on options for homeowners visit:
Do I qualify?
- The program requires a qualifying household to:
o Show financial harm from the pandemic, such as reduction in wages, increase in household expenses, or job loss.
o Show at least one household member is at risk of losing their housing.
o Be at or below the income limit, currently 80% of the area median income
(AMI) for Honolulu County.
- A household can also qualify if at least one member has been unemployed for 90 days or more when applying.