Although the state of Hawaii’s moratorium on evictions ended on August 6, most local tenants are still protected for an additional eight weeks under the federal moratorium on evictions.
Tenants living in communities with an increase in COVID-19 cases can sign a declaration form from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to postpone the eviction. While most Hawaii residents will be protected until October, there is no guarantee that tenants will be able to get back on their feet by then.
Women’s rights activist group Af3irm (says) is particularly concerned about the effects of mass eviction on women and children.
Women are more likely to be solicited for sexual favors by their landlords or loan officers if they have difficulty paying rent. Homeless women and children in Hawai’i are often targets of sex traffickers.
Af3irm particularly focused on the village of Kahauiki in Honolulu after being alerted by anonymous tenants to possible evictions earlier this month. Kahauiki Village is an affordable plantation-style hideaway for homeless families owned by the AIO Foundation.
Af3irm contacted the women tenants about the rental mediation and assistance options.
Law 57, passed by the state legislature and enacted by Governor David Ige this year, requires landlords and tenants to seek mediation before serving eviction notices.
“We recognize that providing individuals with access to these very limited resources is not enough to prevent a deportation crisis,” said Alex Baldos, coordinator of Af3irm Hawai’i. “We need a systemic commitment to no evictions, especially for the particular development of the village of Kahuiki.”
The village of Kahauiki uses refurbished emergency houses built for the victims of the 2011 tsunami in Tohoku, Japan.
Rent is $ 725 for a one-bedroom unit and $ 900 for a two-bedroom unit. Everything is included in the cost – from utilities and electricity to 24 hour security and high speed internet.
Baldos says these prices are too expensive for formerly homeless families to reenter society.
But Duane Kurisu, CEO of the AIO Foundation, defends the prices. He says Kahauiki village is unlike any other homeless shelter.
Tenants can stay permanently, as long as they pay rent. It aims to help homeless families achieve financial independence.
“As with any private rental, the tenant should be responsible for a lease agreement they sign. And this is all part of empowering each household to develop strategies to support themselves, thus breaking the cycle of generational roaming, ”he said.
Tenants in Kahauiki village who do not subscribe to government rent assistance programs and cannot pay the rent may be evicted after a period of mediation, but they will be transferred to a halfway house where they can receive assistance. financial advisers.
Kurisu says there are currently no plans to evict the village of Kahauiki.