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Covid Rental and Utility Assistance Program

If you or a household you know lost income due to Covid-19 they may be eligible for back rent and utility assistance for up to one year.

ERAP is funded by the County of Hawaiʻi through federal funding and will provide rent and utility grants to an estimated 3,400 households that income qualify and can prove hardship due to COVID‐19 for each month they receive assistance from March 2020 to December 2021. Funding will be limited to households’ primary residence on Hawaiʻi Island. Households will be limited to 12 months of total grant assistance.

To qualify for rent or utility assistance grants starting April 12th, applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a Hawai’i Island resident
  • At least 18 years old
  • Lost income due to COVID‐19
  • 2020 or current annual gross household income at or below 80% of area median income for the number of members in their household.

Click here for more information and how to apply.

The Coordinated Entry System (Ending Homelessness)

If you know of anyone who is homeless or houseless, the Hawaii Island Coordinated Entry System (CES) and its nine access point agencies are here to ensure that people who need assistance the most can receive it in a timely manner.

Hawaii Island has an organized island-wide Coordinated Entry System for everyone entering the homelessness system of care through one of nine (9) access points on the island. The way to enter the system of care begins with a call or a visit to an access point agency listed on this webpage.

There you will be asked to fill out forms and the VISPDAT assessment to determine your level of vulnerability and scope of need. Those with the greatest need receive the first open housing referrals.

What is CES?

The purpose of CES is to bring homelessness on Hawaii Island to functional zero. A Coordinated Entry System (CES) is mandated by The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and it streamlines the processes for assessing and offering homeless programs and housing. It helps a community prioritize assistance based on vulnerability and severity of service needs to ensure that people who need assistance the most can receive it in a timely manner. The coordinated entry system also provides information about service needs and gaps to help communities plan their assistance and identify needed resources.

The system process is easy for people to access, in that it identifies and assesses their needs, and makes prioritization decisions based upon needs.

Hawaii County provides the CES convener, who meets biweekly with homeless service provider staff to make referrals of homeless families and individuals. They ensure that clients have all the identifying documents they need to receive housing services. Those families are on a By Name List (BNL) sorted by acuteness of need, where those with the most severe needs are offered housing assistance first.

Access Help Now:

East Hawaii

HOPE Services Hawaii 115 Kapiolani St. Hilo, HI 96720 Phone: 935-3050

Neighborhood Place of Puna (focus is on families) 16-105 Opukahaia St. Keaau, HI 96749 (808) 965-5550

West Hawaii

HOPE Services Hawaii The Friendly Place 74-5593 Pawai Pl., Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. Phone: 933-6062

Neighborhood Place of Kona (focus is on families) 75-166 Kalani St # 104, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. Phone: 331-8777

Hawaii Affordable Properties, Inc. The Homes at Ulu Wini. 73-4180 Ulu Wini Pl. Kailua-Kona, HI 96740. Phone: 319-2367

Access Points – The First Step

The first step in navigating the homelessness system of care is to visit an access point agency.

There are nine (9) nonprofit service provider CES access points located around the island (listed above). Each organization has trained staff who can administer the VISPDAT assessment and assist with explaining the steps necessary to gather required identifying documentation, i.e. homeless certification, birth certificate, Social Security card and photo ID, as well as how to enter shelter and develop a housing plan for moving into permanent housing. Please contact one of the above organizations. You may also download a printable version of this information in our brochure.