HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women is concerned about an increase in landlords engaging in illegal evictions, threatening and harassing pregnant women, immigrant women, and women who have lost their jobs due to caring for their children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The rental-eviction moratorium was extended through Sept. 30.
The commission is concerned that landlords across O‘ahu are breaking the law while state and city governments have not engaged in efforts around eviction-prevention, said Khara Jabola-Carolus, commission executive director.
Landlords are also reportedly not accepting the city’s assistance funds and instead are evicting tenants. Landlords and the public should be provided resources about the eviction moratorium and pre-existing tenant rights, she said.
As a last resort, landlords should be cited for violation of the emergency order.
“Police should be citing the landlords, not the landless being forced into the streets by illegal evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
”One-third (32%) of Honolulu’s coronavirus-response funds are going to the police instead of the distressed public,” she said in a press release. “This funding should be used to execute a coordinated plan around eviction-prevention, not to support police abuse and selective application of the law.
“At the very least, there should be a concentration on increasing public awareness about tenant rights, and the Honolulu Police Department should be trained to stop illegal evictions forcing people to gather in public.”