Hawaiʻi County offering $3,000 bonuses for landlords participating in housing programs
The Hawaiʻi County Office of Housing and Community Development is offering $3,000 sign-on bonuses for Hawaiʻi Island landlords that rent to people with federal housing assistance vouchers.
Starting April 17, landlords who partner with the County may be eligible to receive a one-time $3,000 incentive payment when renting with a one-year lease to emergency housing, veteran, non-elderly and disabled, or foster young adult voucher holders. Property owners with multiple open units could receive $3,000 per unit.
The County hopes the incentives will increase the number of landlords on Hawaiʻi Island renting to people in the federal voucher program, which assists low-income families to be able to afford decent, safe and sanitary housing in the private market.
“Addressing the homelessness and affordable housing crises requires collaboration and partnerships,” Housing Administrator Susan Kunz said. “This new incentive program … seeks to leverage the units of affordable housing available now on Hawaiʻi Island to help those in need to deliver real results.”
According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s most recent “The Gap” report issued in March 2023, Hawaiʻi in 2021 had just 89 affordable and available homes per 100 renter households earning at or below 100% Area Median Income.
For low-income renter households, those earning at or below 80% AMI, there were just 74 units per 100 households. The figure drops to 34 units per 100 households at or below 30% AMI.
“Sustainability is about making sure that our local families can thrive here for generations, which, in turn, means having a place to live and call home,” Hawaiʻi County Mayor Mitch Roth said. “There are a lot of great families out there who just need to be given a chance, and that’s what this incentive program is all about – a chance for hard-working local people to find a good, stable home.”
This shortage of affordable rental housing units makes it difficult for voucher recipients to find or keep an affordable housing rental unit in Hawai’i County. In any given month, up to 100 participants who’ve received a voucher are searching for a safe place to call home.
“Many Hawaiʻi Island renters are struggling to find a place, and our housing voucher program participants are no different,” said Existing Housing Division Manager Michael Yee. “This incentive program will bring more of our housing stock into the reach of voucher holders because, as we all know, stable, affordable housing is critical to a person’s health, dignity, safety, inclusion, and overall contribution to their community.”
The Landlord Incentive Program will end upon the depletion of available federal funding. Full program details can be found at www.hawaiicounty.gov/landlords.
Interested Landlords are also encouraged to sign-up for the next new landlord orientation on May 24 at 9 a.m. in Hilo.
For more information, visit www.hawaiicounty.gov/landlords, email [email protected] or call the Existing Housing Division at 808-959-4642, ext. 1904.