GOVERNOR’S OFFICE PRESS RELEASE: GOVERNOR IGE INFORM LEGISLATION, CHIEF JUSTICE THAT THE MORATORIUM ON EVICTIONS WILL BE LIFT ON 6 AUGUST – STATE URGES RESIDENTS TO REQUEST MEDIATION, AVAILABLE ASSISTANCE
Posted on July 15, 2021 in COVID-19, COVID-19 Press Releases, Latest News, Press Room, Press Releases
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HONOLULU – Governor David Ige today officially informed the Hawai’i State Legislature and Chief Justice Mark E. Recktenwald that he will no longer be issuing a moratorium on evictions once the moratorium is over current expired on August 6. The moratorium on evictions has been in place since April 17, 2020.
âAt that time, the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted travel around the world. Hundreds of thousands of Hawaiian residents who depend on the tourism industry for their livelihoods were out of work, and I issued the first moratorium to prevent mass evictions, âGovernor Ige said. âThe pandemic is not yet over, but thanks to safe and effective vaccines, many residents are now back to work. “
In addition, federal funds are available for emergency rent assistance. Tenants and landlords are encouraged to apply for and accept the rental aid distributed in each county.
For residents who may not have been able to catch up with their rent payments, the state, counties, legislature, judiciary, and service providers are working together to keep people in their homes after the day. expiration of the moratorium on evictions.
Governor Ige signed a measure passed by the Legislative Assembly this year, which changes procedures for eviction for non-payment of rent. Law 57 considerably modifies the owner-tenant code and encourages mediation for both tenants and owners:
- Tenants have more time to seek help and make agreements to avoid eviction;
- Tenants have the right to mediation; and
- Initially, courts can review summary possession cases for those who owe four months or more rent back.
“The judiciary has been working since last year with agencies and community partners across the state to prepare for the expected increase in eviction cases once the moratorium is lifted,” Chief Justice Mark E said. Recktenwald. âWe thank these partners for their efforts. I also want to thank Governor Ige and the Legislature, especially Representatives Troy Hashimoto and Nadine Nakamura, for working collaboratively to enact legislation to help tenants and landlords resolve their differences in these unprecedented times. “
âWe passed a law this year to support the thousands of people who could become homeless once the moratorium on evictions is lifted. Law 57 gives time for landlords and tenants to work together on a payment plan before the moratorium ends on August 6. Through mediation, a payment plan can be negotiated so that landlords can start collecting rent owed and tenants can stay in their homes. This is a great opportunity for our community to come together to help each other, âsaid Senator Sharon Moriwaki.
âLawmakers knew it was important to create a ban at the end of the moratorium on evictions. The last thing we want to see is families and people suffering from economic hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic becoming homeless. HB1376 will provide a fair and balanced process for landlords and tenants to seek rent assistance, mediation and negotiate a resolution before resorting to an eviction case, âsaid Representative Troy N. Hashimoto, the main initiator of the project. of law.
âBill 57 creates a great process in which landlords and tenants can work with a neutral third party to resolve their disputes. The best case is to keep the tenants in their units. The new law also helps prevent the judiciary from being overwhelmed with business. The Office of Consumer Protection can provide information to homeowners and tenants, âsaid Stephen H. Levins, executive director of the Office of Consumer Protection.
âMediation offers landlords and tenants the ability to negotiate creative deals that meet the landlord’s needs to be paid and the tenant’s needs to stay housed. Mediation is not part of the legal system, and landlords and tenants make their own agreements that work for them. We hope our residents will benefit from our services, âsaid Tracey Wiltgen, Executive Director, The Mediation Center of the Pacific, Inc.
âAs we recover, we knew that day would come eventually. We thank the governor, state legislature, and our community partners for helping to ease the transition for landlords and tenants. With the recent adoption of Law 57, mediation is now a necessary step before expulsion. We want our residents to know that there is still time and that the resources are available. We continue to accept applications for the Kaua’i Coronavirus Rental Assistance and Utilities Program, where eligible applicants can receive up to $ 4,500 per month for rent and no cap per month for eligible public services. Please consider these resources, know your rights and seek help if needed, âsaid Mayor Derek SK Kawakami, County of Kaua’i.
The state urges tenants to:
- REPLY at the mediation center when they contact you.
- APPLY for rental assistance.
- CALL to get legal help if you need it, to make sure you know your rights.
RESOURCES FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE:
Hawaii County: www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org
Kaua’i County: https://kauairenthelp.com/
Maui County: https://www.mauicounty.gov/2438/Maui-County-Emergency-Rental-Assistance-
- The Broadband Emergency Benefit can help eligible households pay their internet bills and, in some cases, purchase laptops, desktops and tablets: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandbenefit.
O’ahu: Pacific Mediation Center at https://www.mediatehawaii.org/
East Hawaii: Ku’ikahi Mediation Center at https://hawaiimediation.org/
West Hawaii: West Hawai’i Mediation Center at https://whmediation.org/our-services / owner-tenant
Maui County: Maui Mediation Services at https://www.mauimediation.org/owner tenant /
Kaua’i County: Kauai Economic Opportunity, Inc. Mediation Program at (808) 245-4077 x229 or x237 or [emailÂ protected]
For more information:
Hawaii Legal Aid Society: https://www.legalaidhawaii.org/i-cant-pay-my-rent-mortgage.html
Pacific Mediation Center: https://www.mediatehawaii.org/landlordataire