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Hirono Announces $1.3 Million in Emergency Housing Assistance for Communities Impacted by Maui Wildfires

HONOLULU, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will award $1.3 million to the State of Hawaii to support people who were already experiencing homelessness—those living in an emergency shelter, transitional housing, or a place not meant for human habitation—or at risk of homelessness through the Rapid Unsheltered Survivor Housing (RUSH) program. The federal funding is awarded to help communities in Maui in the aftermath of the recent wildfire disaster.

“This funding will provide essential assistance to individuals impacted by the devastating wildfires who were previously experiencing housing insecurity. I appreciate HUD’s quick action as one of the many federal agencies providing assistance in these early stages of recovery,” said Senator Hirono. “As we work to provide those impacted by this disaster with safe and stable shelter, I will continue working with our federal, state, and local partners to secure the immediate and long-term relief Maui and the State of Hawaii will need to recover and rebuild.”

RUSH funding is responding to the surge in shelter needs to assist the community in addressing homelessness that could be exacerbated by the recent wildfires. The eligible activities for this funding include emergency shelter; rapid re-housing, which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, financial assistance for move in costs, and supportive services for people currently experiencing homelessness; homelessness prevention, which provides up to 24 months of rental assistance, utility assistance, and supportive services for people at risk of homelessness; and outreach assistance, including assistance to meet urgent needs, for people who are unsheltered. People experiencing pre-disaster homelessness have very limited eligibility for FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA). RUSH fills this gap in aid, giving communities essential resources to provide long-term housing solutions for people experiencing pre-disaster homelessness and to prevent long-term homelessness among those who have been recently displaced.