HONOLULU — Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced that Hawai‘i will receive $3,004,369 in new federal funding to cover the increased costs associated with the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This grant will allow counties to increase the rent subsidies to low income, elderly and disabled residents currently receiving HCV assistance who have lost their jobs as a result of the pandemic.
“Families should not have to worry about being evicted in the midst of a public health emergency,” Schatz, member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said in a press release. “This grant will help some of our most vulnerable residents make rent and stay in their homes while we ride out this pandemic.”
The HCV program provides federal dollars to help subsidize rent payments for about 16,500 low income, elderly, and disabled voucher holders in Hawai‘i. These subsidies cover up to 70% of a recipient’s rent. However, some beneficiaries of the program have recently lost their job because of the pandemic and can no longer afford to pay their share of rent after the subsidy. This surge in unemployment has resulted in rising rental costs for public housing authorities — and this grant will cover the increase in subsidies as well as cover increased administrative costs.
This funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and was authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The funds are divided to
• Kaua‘i County Housing Agency: $207,790
• Hawai‘i Public Housing Authority: $707,968
• County of Hawai‘i: $538,316
• City and County of Honolulu: $1,126,482
• County of Maui: $423,813