You are here

COVID-19 Information for Hawaii

The purpose of this page is to provide apartment industry professionals with an overview of the issues affecting our industry with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. The page is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute, and should not be construed as, legal advice. This resource is not intended to provide a mandatory standard of care for the industry.

We highly suggest you contact a local attorney before you decide to initiate an eviction action against a resident in the current environment as overlaying federal, state and county laws or restrictions on the judicial process may apply. This includes: issuing a notice to vacate, initiating any eviction-related action, or assessing fees or penalties on residents for nonpayment of rent or other lease violations. In addition to the below, you can access NAA's statutory information on late fees, eviction laws, and other policy issues.

Reopening Order

The islands of Hawaii are governed by impact levels. Each island has a corresponding impact level which determines its ability resume non-essential business operations. Reopening status for each island can be found here

Face Mask Mandate

 All individuals must wear face coverings when entering a commercial building.

State of Emergency

Governor David Ige declared a state of emergency on March 4.

Eviction

Status: Eviction Cases & Eviction Enforcement Suspended

Executive Order

  • Action: On May 5, 2020, the Governor issued a proclamation implementing a statewide eviction moratorium. That order has been extended through October 31, 2020. 
  • Scope: Suspends civil cases and eviction enforcement for nonpayment of rent.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No.
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes.

State Supreme Court Order (Expired)

Suspension of all trials in civil, criminal, and family courts until after Friday, May 29, 2020 or the termination of the state of emergency by the Governor, whichever is sooner.

Executive Order

  • Action: On May 5, 2020 the Governor issued a proclamation implementing a statewide eviction moratorium.
  • Scope: Suspends civil cases and eviction enforcement for nonpayment of rent.
  • COVID-19 Related Impact Requirement: No
  • Residents Responsible for Rent: Yes

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

The Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) has approved the establishment of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The program will provide eligible native Hawaiian beneficiaries who are on the Department’s Applicant Waiting List, as of Dec. 31, 2018, with rental assistance using Native Hawaiian Housing Block Grant funds.

These funds were made available in accordance with the Native Hawaiian Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act and other federal laws, including Public Law 115-141 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018. The Consolidated Appropriations Act allows NHHBG funds to be used to provide rental assistance to eligible Native Hawaiian families both on and off Hawaiian Home Lands.

Under the established program, eligible beneficiaries who have experienced a loss of income or job as a result of COVID-19 may qualify for assistance for the payment of their security deposit and/or rent on a month-to-month basis for up to six months.

Additionally, the HI Senate and House announced that the majority of the discretionary CARES money will be going to support for struggling families directly including $85-100 million in rent relief.

Over 34,000 households are expected to receive help from the plan’s $100 million funded rental and housing assistance subsidies. The State’s most financially vulnerable households will receive rental assistance in the form of a $500 monthly subsidy or 50% of rent, whichever is lesser, for up to five months from August 1 to December 31. 

Rent Freeze

No rent freeze is in effect at the state or local level. There is no statute preempting local rent regulation. 

Price-Gouging Law

Under Hawaii Code, § 127A-30, it is unlawful to increase the selling price of any commodity. Additionally, no landlord shall terminate any tenancy for a residential dwelling unit in the area that is the subject of the proclamation.

Local Legal and Regulatory Information

Honolulu County

Rental Assistance/Housing Provider Assistance

Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the City and County of Honolulu launched the COVID-19 Household Hardship Relief Program with $25 Million in CARES Act funds designed to support households economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Oʻahu residents can reach out to one of our non-profit community partners to apply directly beginning May 18, 2020:

  • Aloha United Way: Pre-Qualification online or by phone, 2-1-1 or 808-275-2000;
  • Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement: Application online or by phone, 808-596-8155 (All Oʻahu residents can apply).

Back to top