Sugimura Resolution Urges Governor to Extend Eviction Moratorium Into 2021
Councilmember Yuki Lei Sugimura introduced a resolution urging the governor to extend the eviction moratorium into 2021. The item will be considered by the council at its meeting today.
“Although Governor Ige extended the moratorium until Dec. 31, a temporary eviction moratorium with the same expiration date was already granted by the CDC in September,” said Sugimura. “Our communities are and will continue to face the impacts of the pandemic long past the end of the year so I am hoping this call for action will be heard by our state government officials.”
The governor launched the state’s Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program, funded by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act appropriations in September. The program aids Hawai’i renters who have experienced a reduction in income and are at risk of eviction because of unemployment or a reduction in work hours caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sugimura said as of Nov. 12, less than $20 million had been used to assist with monthly rent out of the $100 million in Federal CARES Act funding appropriated for rental relief. Once the moratorium expires, tenants will be left responsible for accrued back rent and can be given a five-business day notice from their landlords for nonpayment before the eviction process is started, she said.
“It may be impossible for some to immediately acquire or recover from the back rent due to the many long-lasting impacts of COVID-19,” said Sugimura.
“It is imperative to expedite the process for our residents to access CARES Act funding, especially if they’ve reached out and asked for rental or mortgage assistance this year.”
Members of the public can provide testimony via video conference link or phone number listed on the meeting agenda. In addition to receiving testimony by phone or video conference, the council will accept written testimony.