A new flyer spotlights the urgent need for more property owners to offer up their homes and dwelling units through the Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing Program.
The goal of the program is to connect those Maui fire survivors in need of long-term housing with Hawaiʻi homeowners who are willing to assist by offering unoccupied rooms, units or houses on a temporary basis. It does so by maintaining a database of available properties for survivors to find a home that fits their needs.
The Hawaiʻi Housing Finance and Development Corporation, which oversees the fire relief program, previously issued flyers that sought to reach out to both Maui survivors and property owners.
But with ongoing recovery efforts and an estimated 6,000 people still in search of longer-term living arrangements, greater emphasis is being placed on encouraging property owners to offer their available units as long-term housing for survivors and their families.
Since its inception on Aug. 10, the Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing Program has housed 605 families, or an estimated 1,966 individuals. More than two-thirds of the properties are on Maui while about 18.5% are on Oʻahu.
There are currently 1,031 properties that have been verified as available; an additional 435 properties still going through the verification process.
“There is clearly an ongoing need to provide more options to the survivors,” HHFDC Executive Director Dean Minakami said. “We hope Hawaiʻi residents consider helping our Maui neighbors during their time of need.”
The state does not require property owners who join the program to charge any specified rent, but they are encouraged to charge significantly less than they normally would – below market rate if possible for a term of six months or more.
The Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing Program provides no funding to any of the parties involved in the transactions.
Other state, federal and county programs, however, do provide financial assistance.
Visit the Hawaiʻi Fire Relief Housing Program landing page at https://dbedt.hawaii.gov/hhfdc/hhfdc-fire-relief-housing-program/ for more information.