Today the County of Maui, American Red Cross and the Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) announced that the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement (CNHA) will administer a newly-launched Host Housing Support Program. This program offers financial support to households providing shelter to individuals and families displaced by the Maui wildfires. Eligible host households can receive a monthly stipend of up to $1,500 for up to six months, with a maximum of $375 for individuals under the $1,500 cap.
“In the face of the devastating wildfires, our community has stepped up to ‘mālama’ (care for) others. They have provided shelter for those who have lost everything. This program honors those who have shown ‘aloha’ and embraced the ‘kuleana’ to ‘mālama’ others while encouraging them to continue their aloha,” said Kūhiō Lewis, CEO of CNHA.
The August 8, 2023, wildfires in Maui left thousands of individuals displaced. Data collected at the Kākoʻo Maui Resource Center and recent townhalls hosted by Mayor Richard Bissen indicate that 25% of displaced families and individuals are staying with friends or relatives. The Host Housing Support Program seeks to provide relief to these generous hosts.
“As Maui continues to heal, I am heartened by this program, which represents a collaboration of our county teams and non-profit partners supporting those who have opened their doors to our people in need displaced by the tragic disaster,” said Mayor Richard Bissen of the County of Maui, who played a pivotal role in creating this program. “We are grateful to the American Red Cross, Hawai‘i Community Foundation and Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement for their continued care and support. This program reinforces the values of aloha that continues to be the hallmark of our community. The kindness shown by hosting families who have taken in those in great need deserve our support as well. “
Amanda Ree, director of wildfire long-term recovery programs for the American Red Cross, stated, “No one organization can possibly meet the multitude of needs created by the impact of such a destructive disaster. We are honored to work collaboratively with the County of Maui, CNHA, and HCF to support the people of Maui and embrace a community-led recovery. Strong partnerships like these enhance our collective ability to offer a wide range of vital recovery services.
The Host Housing Support Program will be piloted for six months with a commitment of $4 million dollars. Additional funding may be allocated if the pilot is successful.
Micah Kāne, CEO & president of the Hawai‘i Community Foundation, said, “The host housing program will have an immediate impact by providing financial support to households that have opened their doors to families in need of housing. Our hope is that this funding eases some of the costs associated with hosting larger households and encourages more people to join this effort.”
Financial assistance provided through the program can be used to cover additional costs incurred by host families, including rent, utilities, groceries, household improvements, and other necessities.
Host Housing Support Program Eligibility & Application Process
Interested applicants are encouraged to apply at CNHA’s Kāko‘o Maui Resource Hub located at Maui Mall in Kahului or apply online at hawaiiancouncil.org/hostfamily/
Applicants can also contact CNHA at (808) 596-8155.
- Host households must meet the following criteria for participation in the program:
- Resident of the State of Hawaiʻi hosting a family/individual(s) affected by the Maui wildfires
- Must provide address of family/individual(s) whose home was damaged by the Maui wildfires
- Must pass a Housing Quality Standard inspection
- Comply with monthly assessments of applicant qualifications
- Impacted family or individual must certify that they are living with the host
For more information about the Host Housing Support Program, visit hawaiiancouncil.org/hostfamily/