Maui News

Paltin to administration: Set up homeowner’s assistance program before federal money is lost

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Maui County Council Member Tamara Paltin. PC: Courtesy

With more than $8 million in federal funds that need to be used by Sept. 30, 2025, Maui County Council member Tamara Paltin is urging the administration to set up a program in order to administer a homeowner’s assistance fund.

“The most heartbreaking part to me is that we know we have residents going into foreclosure, behind on HOA fees or property taxes and we have wasted a whole year already of being able to help them,” she said. “This is super urgent to me.”

Paltin is introducing Resolution 23-41 at the Maui County Council on Friday that urges the administration to issue a request for proposals to administer a Homeowner Assistance Fund Program under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. While the resolution, if adopted, would not have the force and the effect of law, it does send a message to the administration.


“Plus, we passed that state Department of Hawaiian Homelands bill where even if they’re behind on property taxes, they can still get owner-occupied and finance supported because carrying that balance impacts our bond rating negatively,” she said. “Here we have federal monies to help these guys out and we are sitting on our hands.”

Paltin said the County of Maui is the only county in the state that has yet to put out a request for proposals to get a vendor to distribute ARPA funds. The federal money could be helping homeowners in need — just like it’s doing in other counties.

The Homeowner Assistance Fund program was established with funding through the American Rescue Plan with the goal of assisting homeowners under 150% area median income with grants to prevent foreclosure, according to Hawaiʻi Community Lending. The program terms are established by each state.


The State of Hawaiʻi received $49.9 million, and programs within each county allow for grants up to $30,000 to be used to pay past due mortgages, property taxes and HOA fees.

For the counties of Honolulu, Hawai’i and Kauaʻi, nonprofit community development financial institutions have been chosen as administrators of the program which were launched October 2021 (Hawaiʻi and Kauaʻi County) and January 2022 (City and County Honolulu). Hawaiʻi Community Lending administers the program for both Hawai’i and Kauaʻi counties.

While Maui Economic Opportunity has a program that’s only for mortgage help, these funds could be used more broadly, according to Paltin.


To read Resolution 23-41, click here and find the title.


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