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Report: Only 2% of funds paid in Hawaii for housing relief

October 17, 2020 GMT

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii allotted $100 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to help families struggling with their rent and mortgage payments, but so far only 2% of the money has been distributed, the state Housing Finance and Development Corporation said.

The corporation confirmed the number with Hawaii News Now.

More than 20,000 people have applied for the state’s Rent Relief and Housing Assistance Program in the past month. The program is set to expire on Dec. 31.

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Gov. David Ige launched the program meant to provide eligible residents up to $2,000 a month for their housing needs. Ige said the delay is partly due to scale.

“I think everyone needs to recognize none of these programs were ever put into place before to the scale we are trying to implement,” Ige said.

State Sen. Sharon Moriwaki, a Democrat, tells Hawaii News Now that the payment process has been slowed because the state is micromanaging the verification process.