MAYORWatch: High Cost of Rent and Section 8 Vouchers

Mayor Michael Victorino answers weekly questions submitted to his office staff.

Question: Aloha Mayor! While we are happy the Section 8 assistance waitlist opened up in January, my family is worried about the high costs of rent on Maui and whether the vouchers will be enough. Could you look into this and help explain the County’s process? Mahalo!

Answer: Mahalo for your question. I asked my staff and our Housing Division Administration for assistance to help provide you with an answer.

The County of Maui evaluates the payment standards on an annual basis to ensure compliance with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) guidelines. Per the release of FY2020 Fair Market Rents (FMR) by HUD, the County of Maui is within the FMR ranges deemed acceptable. In fact, the County of Maui’s payment standards are based on the higher end of the fair market values.

When determining the rental amount, the rent for a unit proposed for Section 8 assistance is compared to the rent charged for comparable unassisted units in the same market area. In order for a unit to be eligible for the program, the dwelling unit must have reasonable rent and the rent amount must not be in excess of rents charged for similar unassisted units.

From our firsthand experience, based on those individuals who were recently issued vouchers in addition to those individuals who are moving, they are able to locate units within our payment standards.

For more information and assistance, call the Section 8 Department at 270-7751 or click here.

Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at [email protected], by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email [email protected]



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