The Legal Aid Society of Hawaii will receive $300,000 from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program, allowing it to once again assist victims of housing discrimination.
Since Jan. 1, the society’s Fair Housing Enforcement Program has been temporarily closed due to insufficient resources, according to its website, and was not returning phone calls or emails.
“We re going to be able to restart those services, but the grant is not scheduled to start until June,” said Legal Aid deputy director Angela Lovitt. “But we are negotiating with HUD on a mutually agreed upon start date, hoping to start it sooner than that.”
U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono announced the award from HUD last week.
“In a state with such a high cost of living, Hawaii families already struggle to find and afford a place to live,” said Hirono in a press release. “They shouldn’t have to contend with the added burden of housing discrimination. This federal funding allows the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii to seek redress for victims of housing discrimination and raise awareness of fair housing laws.”
Legal Aid’s Low Income Tax Clinic and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program also ended in 2017.
Applications for fair housing legal assistance must go through Legal Aid’s intake line at 536-4302.