Hawaii County Emergency Rental Assistance Program

Grants for Rent, Utilities, and Rental Deposits to Low-Income Hawaii Island Renters

Limited funds may be available for temporary motel stays for low-income Hawaii Island renters enrolled in Housing Navigation services

August 17, 2022



Seven local nonprofit organizations joined Mayor Roth today to announce that the Hawaiʻi County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will temporarily pause new applications effective August 18 at 11:59 pm to process existing applications. During this time, Hawaiʻi Community Lending (HCL) and its partners will connect applicants with available job opportunities and no-cost financial counseling offered through the Financial Empowerment Centers.

Applicants already enrolled in ERAP do not need to reapply, and program partners will continue to pay out assistance without disruption. Applicants who applied before August 19, 2022, and are in the process of finalizing their application, will continue to have their applications processed and funded.

“The pause on new applications will allow our nonprofit partners who are working hard on the front lines to process existing applications while still bridging our local people to good paying jobs at the County, for-profit businesses, and nonprofit organizations,” said Jeff Gilbreath, Executive Director of HCL, the lead contractor for the program.

Since launching on April 1, 2021, ERAP has disbursed $20.6 million in rent and utility assistance to 7,312 low-income Hawaiʻi Island residents to keep them in rental housing and prevent homelessness.

According to Gilbreath, this announcement comes as the program reports that 53% of those approved for ERAP assistance are currently unemployed, at a time when public and private employers have a significant number of job opportunities available.

HCL anticipates that the ERAP application portal will re-open to accept applications on or before the end of September 2022.

“Our administration is focused on creating sustainable models of rental relief so that our residents can set themselves up beyond month-to-month assistance and gain real financial independence and solid employment opportunities that alleviate mounting pressures on themselves and their families,” said Mayor Mitch Roth. “We applaud the tremendous work of all our partners who have pooled resources to bolster our response to community needs and amplify our overall impact.”

Mayor Roth and ERAP nonprofit partners are encouraging local residents to visit www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org to learn more about available job opportunities, resources to obtain employment, and services and resources offered through the Housing Stability Services providers.

Residents who need assistance during the program’s pause on new applications are encouraged to contact the County’s Financial Empowerment Centers, run by Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawaiʻi First Federal Credit Union. The Financial Empowerment Centers provide free financial counseling to find financial solutions that fit their family, including grant and loan options.

Book an appointment at a center near you at www.HawaiiCountyERAP.org.

See Frequently Asked Questions below for additional information regarding the temporary pause on new applications.



Job Openings Available - Apply Today!

Hawaii First Federal Credit Union

Hawaii First FCU has been serving our community for 60 years! We serve members island-wide with branches located in Kamuela and Hilo. Our mission statement is “Empowering Our Community by Serving Hawaii First!” and we strive to provide exceptional financial and empowerment services to meet the needs of our members and our community. Our vision is to be a place of help, hope and happiness.

Member Service Representative - Hilo Branch

  • Member / Customer service and office experience required

  • On the job training will be provided

Loan Processor – Hilo Branch

  • Member / Customer service and office experience required

  • On the job training will be provided

Empowerment Services Representative – Full-time at the Hilo Community Resource Center

  • Customer service and office experience required

  • Previous jobs held could be but not required: counseling, social service, non-profit, front desk

  • On the job training will be provided

Apply Online Here

HOPE Services Hawaii

HOPE Services is a Hawai'i Island based nonprofit agency commited to making homelessness on our island more rare, brief, and nonrecurring. We accomplish this by emplowering families and individuals with the support they need to become housed. Our programs include street outreach, emergency shelter, rental assistance and more. In 2021, HOPE provided support and housing-focused services to 1,422 people islandwide, helping 814 Hawai'i Island households stabilize and restore a foundation to live healthy lives. Our reach is possible because of the dedication of HOPE staff - aligned with our mission "to bring to life the gospel values of justice, love, compassion and hope, through service, emplowerment and advocacy."

Apply by clicking the positions below.

More Information Here

The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide.

Apply by clicking the positions below.

Youth Development Specialist – Hilo Outreach/Prevention Programs (Full time 40)


Youth Development Specialist – BIJIAC (Part time 20 hours a week)


Residential Specialist - Hilo Residential (Full time 40)


More Information Here

County of Hawaii

The County is hiring for a variety of positions.

More information on how to apply can be found below.

County of Hawai’i’s Job Website https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/countyhawaii

American Job Center 427 Kilauea Avenue, Hilo, HI 96720 | Map/Directions

Telephone: (808) 935-6527


Housing Navigators can help you find rental housing.

Find a Housing Navigator in Your Community.

Navigate and connect to community services to address critical financial, housing, and health-related issues.

Contact the Coordination Center Today.

Meet with a coach to build a budget, create a financial action plan, and find affordable loans.

Enroll in a Financial Empowerment Center.

Obtain free legal advice for rental evictions and understand tenants rights.

Contact Legal Aid Society of Hawaii Today.

Meet with a mediator to find an agreement that works for the renter and landlord.

Sign Up for Free Landlord-Tenant Mediation.


Below is our program data dashboard. The dashboard automatically shows cumulative results for All Weeks. It is unnecessary to double click for All Weeks. If you double click All Weeks, the data will show as double the amount of actual cumulative data.

The Hawaii County Emergency Rent Assistance Program nonprofit providers give priority to applications from households at or below 50% area median income, including those with a household member who has been unemployed for at least 90 days. Priority actions include processing such applications ahead of all other applications received.