County to Temporarily Suspend Rental, Utilities Assistance Program
The county’s emergency rental assistance program, ERAP, will temporarily stop new applications starting Thursday in an effort to process existing applications.
Meanwhile, Hawaiʻi Community Lending, HCL, and its partners will connect applicants with available employment opportunities and free financial counseling offered by Financial Empowerment Centers.
“Pausing new applications will allow our hard-working nonprofit partners on the front lines to process existing applications while connecting our local people to high-paying county jobs, for-profit businesses and organizations in nonprofit,” said Jeff Gilbreath. , Executive Director of HCL, the program’s prime contractor.
According to Gilbreath, the announcement comes as the program reports that 53% of those approved for ERAP assistance are currently unemployed, at a time when public and private employers have a significant number of job opportunities available.
HCL anticipates that the ERAP application portal will reopen to accept applications no later than the end of September 2022.
Applicants already enrolled in PARE do not need to reapply and program partners will continue to provide support without interruption. Applicants who applied before August 19, 2022 and are in the process of finalizing their application will continue to have their applications processed and funded.
In partnership with several local nonprofits, ERAP disbursed $20.6 million in rent and utility assistance to 7,312 low-income Hawaii Island residents to keep them in housing rentals and prevent homelessness since its launch on April 1, 2021.
“Our administration is focused on creating sustainable models of rental relief so our residents can settle beyond monthly assistance and gain true financial independence and strong employment opportunities that ease the growing pressures on themselves and their families,” said Mayor Mitch. Roth. “We salute the tremendous work of all our partners who have pooled their resources to strengthen our response to community needs and amplify our overall impact.
Roth and ERAP nonprofit partners encourage local residents to visit www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org to learn more about available employment opportunities, resources for obtaining employment, and services and resources offered by service providers. housing stability.
Residents who need help during the New Apps program break are encouraged to contact the county’s Financial Empowerment Centers, operated by Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. Financial Empowerment Centers offer free financial counseling to find suitable financial solutions for their family, including grant and loan options.
Make an appointment at a center near you at www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org.