Maui Relief TANF program assists families with children impacted by wildfires

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PC: Maui Economic Opportunity

In partnership with the state Department of Human Services, Maui Economic Opportunity, Inc. is administering the Maui Relief TANF Program that will provide help with housing, auto and utility payments and other expenses for income-eligible families with children who were directly impacted by the Aug. 8 wildfires.

The Maui Relief TANF Program, which stands for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, began accepting applications today, Friday, Oct. 20, at MEO offices in Wailuku and online at (click on “Maui Relief TANF Program” button under “Quick Links”). 

The application for the Maui Relief TANF Program can be accessed from the MEO website at[SC1] .


Applications are also available in-person from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) at 99 Mahalani St, Wailuku. MEO staff will be at the Lahaina Civic Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 24. Future outreach events will be announced.

Families must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Be a Hawai‘i resident.
  • Have at least one dependent child, up to age 24 years who is under the care of a relative.
  • Impacted by the Aug.  8 wildfires with property loss or damage or loss of earnings or job.
  • Family’s annual gross income is no more than 350% of the 2023 Hawai‘i federal poverty level, which is $79,380 for a family of two or $120,750 for a family of four.

The relief payments include:

  • One-time deposit and payments of up to four months for long-term (at least 12 months) housing. Monthly payments are based on the actual housing cost, up to $4,000.
  • One-time personal automobile down payment of up to $5,000. 
  • Personal automobile loan payments for up to four months, based on actual cost, up to $500 per month.
  • One-time utility deposit of up to $2,000 and utility payments of up to four months, with a maximum of $750 per month, which both may be applied toward multiple utility sources.
  • Clothing allowance up to $350 per child under 18 years old and up to $500 for children ages 18 to 24 years and adults.
  • School supply allowance up to $300 for each school-age child.

A family may apply for benefits based on their current needs. The benefits received may not duplicate other emergency and disaster relief assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross or other disaster assistance organization.

Required documents, which applicants will have to upload or bring to in-person sites, include:

  • Identification, such as a driver’s license or state ID.
  • Social Security verification, such as a Social Security card, tax documentation, or a federally accepted document.
  • Proof of Hawaiʻi residency, for example, utility bill or lease agreement.
  • Proof of loss, damage or reduction in earnings or employment loss as a direct result of the wildfires, which may include a union letter, emails, text messages, employer’s letter or email, or self-attestation.
  • Proof of Income, such as pay stubs, tax forms, unemployment insurance, or self-attestation.
  • Proof of a dependent child living in the home, examples may include a lease agreement, birth certificate for child reflecting relationship to the adult relative, tax document, or school document.
  • Assistance request documents (items are specific to the assistance requested). Utility bill; lease, mortgage, or car loan statement; W-9s for landlords.

“Families with children who were impacted by the wildfires lost everything and need assistance getting back on their feet. This program will offer a helping hand,” said MEO CEO Debbie Cabebe.


“We would like to thank the Governor and the state Department of Human Services for trusting MEO to provide these critical benefits as families begin looking to the future and rebuilding their lives,” she said.

For more information about the Maui Relief TANF Program, call 808-243-4316 or email [email protected].

PC: Maui Economic Opportunity

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