NOTICE OF PUBLIC COMMENT
on Draft Substantial Amendment No. 3 to the
Annual Action Plan for Program Year 2019
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides $3 billion under the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Community Development Block Grant, Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), and Housing Opportunities with Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs, to immediately assist communities combat the effects of COVID-19. The State of Hawaii, through the Homeless Programs Office of the Department of Human Services (DHS), is eligible to receive $1,567,697 in ESG funds, and $39,007 in HOPWA funds under the CARES Act, to assist Hawaii’s low-income families and most vulnerable citizens. As the City and County of Honolulu is eligible to receive its own CARES Act funds, DHS will use the state’s funds in the neighbor island counties of Hawaii, Kauai and Maui.
In order for DHS to receive CARES Act funds, the state’s Hawaii Housing Finance and Development Corporation (HHFDC), Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, must submit, for HUD’s approval, a substantial amendment to the state’s Consolidated Plan, Annual Action Plan for Program Year 2019. The substantial amendment describes how DHS will distribute and utilize CARES Act funds under the state’s ESG and HOPWA programs.
In collaboration with HUD and Bridging the Gap (the Continuum of Care representing the neighbor island counties), DHS identified the following activities:
CARES Act ESG
DHS will retain $7,681 from its CARES Act ESG funds for administration and contract the nonprofit Ka Mana O Na Helu to administer the balance of these funds in the neighbor island counties. Ka Mana O Na Helu intends to utilize $78,385 for its administrative costs and distribute the balance of $1,481,631 to the Counties of Hawaii, Maui and Kauai. To provide immediate assistance and support to homeless individuals and families and help them battle the effects of COVID-19, funds will be distributed to provider nonprofit organizations in neighbor island counties for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing activities and to support shelter operations and expansion of services. COVID-19 funds will also be used for street outreach to provide essential services and supplies to the unsheltered homeless to reduce the spread of infectious diseases such as the Coronavirus. Community health education and support services to transition into permanent housing will be included in all activities.
CARES Act HOPWA
DHS will retain no administrative funds and will distribute the entire allocation of CARES Act HOPWA funds in the amount of $39,007 to its HOPWA lead agency and project sponsor Maui Aids Foundation (MAF). MAF will utilize HOPWA funds in the County of Maui, and contract with subrecipients Malama Pono in the County of Kauai and Hawaii Island HIV/AIDS Foundation in the County of Hawaii. All funds will be used for Tenant Based Rental Assistance and support services for individuals with HIV/AIDS and their families.
Pursuant to 24 CFR Part 91, HHFDC gives notice of proposed amendments to its PY2019 Annual Action Plan, to include the above funding and activities. Due to the urgent need to quickly disburse funds in the community to assist Hawaii’s most vulnerable citizens, HHFDC is implementing a waiver to the normal 30-day public comment period in favor of a five-day public comment period.
The draft substantial amendment is available for public review on HHFDC’s website at http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/hhfdc. Due to health and safety concerns caused by the global Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, state and county housing agencies, where the state’s substantial amendments would normally be available for public viewing, may be taking precautionary measures by closing their offices to the public. Interested persons are encouraged to view the draft substantial amendment electronically on HHFDC’s website (http://hawaii.gov/dbedt/hhfdc). You may also call Lisa Wond at (808) 587-3182 to be mailed a copy of the draft substantial amendment.
Interested persons are invited to state their views on the draft substantial amendment in writing no later than April 29, 2020 at 4:00 p.m. to HHFDC at 677 Queen Street, Suite 300, Honolulu, Hawaii, 96813, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments received by the deadline will be considered in preparing the final substantial amendment.
Persons with special needs (e.g., needing a copy of the proposed substantial amendment in large print or taped) must immediately contact HHFDC’s Human Resources Office at 587-0501, or by written request via email to email@example.com. Prompt requests help to ensure the availability of appropriate accommodations. Persons on the neighbor islands may call the following toll-free numbers:
From Kauai, 274-3141, ext. 70501 From Hawaii, 974-4000, ext. 70501
From Maui, 984-2400, ext. 70501 From Molokai & Lanai, 1-800-468-4644, ext. 70501
HHFDC does not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, sex, including gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, familial status, ancestry, age, marital status, or HIV infection.
Denise Iseri-Matsubara, Interim Executive Director