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Honolulu City & County Rent to Work Program

Updated: Sep 3, 2020

I was recently inspired by a Honolulu City & County Rent to Work Program presentation before the Honolulu Board of Realtors. The Rent to Work Program is a little known employment focused program with housing support in mind for those who are experiencing homelessness.

They provide short term rental subsidies for up to 24 months, case management and supportive services that include financial literacy, employment skills, and life skills training. In assisting individuals, they help them achieve goals toward employment or even better employment. The American Job Center Hawaii (AJCH) works with clients in establishing skills for employment and higher pay to create long lasting stability.

The Rent to Work program also provides skills and guidance with the end goal that the client has established a savings account. The client must contribute 30% of the household's gross income toward the monthly rent, be employed 20+ hours per week for a minimum of 3 months prior to subsidy issue, have a savings balance to reflect first month's rent & security deposit and complete a Money Smart Certification. Clients have a monthly meeting with their case manager to ensure good living & financial habits. The success rate for clients has been high according to the Rent to Work Administrator. Currently, the program has housed 72 families.

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