Big Island Coronavirus Updates

Council Resolution Asks Governor to Suspend All Residential Evictions

April 8, 2020, 6:00 AM HST
* Updated April 7, 4:41 PM
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Hawai‘i County Councilmember Sue Lee Loy. Photo courtesy of Big Island Press Club

The Hawai‘i County Council will consider a resolution requesting that Gov. David Ige suspend residential evictions for the length of the COVID-19 state of emergency, especially with regards to cases of nonpayment of rent.

Councilmember Sue Lee Loy introduced Resolution 575-20 Tuesday that, due to its time-sensitive nature, was approved for discussion at the Council meeting on Wednesday, April 8

“We are in unchartered waters and Resolution 575-20 is an attempt to have us fall forward,” Lee Loy said. “The effects of this crisis are unknown and will be for months to come. It is my hope Resolution 575-20 is embraced as a proactive measure to provide certainty for people in our community, especially our kūpuna and keiki, in uncertain times.”

The resolution notes the governor’s authority under Chapter 127A of Hawai‘i Revised Statutes to suspend certain laws during a state of emergency. It asks him to grant relief to residential tenants who face prolonged economic hardship as a result of the ongoing state of emergency, according to a press release from Lee Loy’s office.

Further, the potential loss of a home places additional stress on residents at a time when a stay-at-home order remains in effect. This resolution asks the governor to take sensible, reasonable, compassionate measures in these extraordinary times, as the press release characterized them.

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It also aligns the County with the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which has sent a letter to the Governor requesting that this relief be granted.

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