For immediate release: November 19, 2020
Press Release by:
Yuki Lei Sugimura, Councilmember
Maui County Council
Sugimura introduces resolution urging the governor to extend the eviction moratorium into 2021
WAILUKU, Hawaii—Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura announced today a resolution urging the governor to extend the eviction moratorium into 2021 will be considered by the council at its meeting tomorrow.
Sugimura transmitted the proposed resolution entitled ‘Urging the governor to extend the eviction moratorium into 2021 and urging the State of Hawai’i to expedite access to cares act funding by residents who applied for rental or mortgage assistance prior to 2021.’ The resolution is attached to County Communication 20-569 on the council meeting agenda.
“Although Governor Ige extended the moratorium until Dec. 31, a temporary eviction moratorium with the same expiration date was already granted by the CDC in September,” said Sugimura. “Our communities are and will continue to face the impacts of the pandemic long past the end of the year so I am hoping this call for action will be heard by our state government officials.”
On Sept. 8, the governor launched the State of Hawaii Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act appropriations. The program aids Hawai’i renters who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of eviction because of unemployment or a reduction in work hours caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sugimura said as of Nov. 12, less than $20 million had been used to assist with monthly rent out of the $100 million in Federal CARES Act funding appropriated for rental relief. Once the moratorium expires, tenants will be left responsible for accrued back rent and can be given a five-business day notice from their landlords for nonpayment before the eviction process is started, she said.
“It may be impossible for some to immediately acquire or recover from the back rent due to the many long-lasting impacts of COVID-19,” said Sugimura.
“It is imperative to expedite the process for our residents to access CARES Act funding, especially if they’ve reached out and asked for rental or mortgage assistance this year.”
Members of the public can view tomorrow’s council meeting on Akaku Channel 53 or provide testimony via video conference link or phone number listed on the meeting agenda. For more information on the meeting or to view the resolution, please visit MauiCounty.us/agendas.
In addition to receiving testimony by phone or video conference, the council will accept written testimony. For instructions on submitting written testimony, please visit http://mauicounty.us/how-to-testify/.