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FAQs - Ka Wailele
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Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program

Frequently Asked Questions


1.   What is the Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program?

It is an Office of Hawaiian affairs program to provide grants up to $1,500 to Native Hawaiians who live in Hawaii, are age 18 or older, in a financial hardship, and need help with past due rent, mortgage, utilities or rental deposits.

2.   Do I qualify?

To qualify, you must be:

3.   What utilities does the program pay for?

Electricity, water, sewer, gas, solar, and water catchment costs such as water delivery.

      4.   How many people in my household can receive a grant?

Only 1 grant can be paid per home address.

5.   Do I need to be on unemployment to qualify?


7.   Do I have to be behind on my rent, utilities, or mortgage to qualify?

Yes. Unless you are in need of a rental deposit.

8.   Does the recipient of SSI/SSDI be eligible for the program?

        If you claim that SSI or SSDI is your only hardship then NO. This isn’t considered an EMERGENCY financial hardship. However, if your household member who lives with you and contributes to your household's living expenses has been impacted by an eligible financial hardship then we encourage your household to apply.

9.   Is an increase in rent considered an Emergency Financial Hardship?

        Increased Rent only isn’t a hardship. If you suffered loss of income and the rent increased, that would be eligible.

10.        Is the loss of child care that causes you to terminate employment considered an Emergency Financial Hardship?

        Loss of income because of termination of job to care for a child is eligible hardship. Documents for both loss of income and child care are required.


8.   How do I apply?

You can apply in 3 different ways:

For faster processing times, we encourage you to submit online an online application.


200 N Vineyard Boulevard, Suite B140 Honolulu, HI 96817




24 N Church Street, Suite 210 Wailuku, HI 96793



Molokaʻi /Lānaʻi (Remote Site) University of Hawaii Molokaʻi Education Center

375 Kamehameha V Highway Kaunakakai, HI 96748

808-553-4490, ext. 6, Open Mon & Wed, 8:30a to 4:30p

East Hawaiʻi

1315 Kalanianaʻole Avenue

Hilo, HI 96720



West Hawaiʻi (Remote Site)

La'i'ōpua 2020

74-5210 Keanalehu Drive

Kailua Kona, HI 9674


Open Mon-Fri, 9a-4p (starting Jun 16)



4523 Ioane Road

Anahola, HI 96703


9.   What documents will I need to apply?

The following list of documents are required to apply for assistance.  You can also find a list of required documents on our website at and click Documents Checklist.

Proof of Age and Hawaiʻi Residency


Native Hawaiian Verification (1 of the following)


Proof of Financial Hardship (1 of the following)


Housing (1 of the following)


Assistance Needed (1 of the following)

10. I have applied for emergency rent and/or utility assistance.  How do I check the

status of my application or contact a representative for assistance?

To check the status of your application, please contact a Hawaii Community Lending representative at 808.587.7656.


11. How long will I have to wait until my application is approved?

Many of our friends and neighbors are expected to apply, so it will take time for Hawaii Community Lending to review applications and verify documents. Complete applications will be approved within 3 business days.

12. What happens if the program runs out of money while my application is being


The program has limited funds available on a first-come, first-serve basis. It is possible that the funds will run out before we can cover your grant request. Hawaii Community Lending mahalos you for your patience and understanding.

13. I’m getting help with my rent, mortgage, or utilities from another program. Can I

also get help from the Ka Wailele Emergency Financial Assistance Program?

You may be able to get help with any rent, mortgage, or utilities for a month that has not been covered by other local, State, or Federal programs.


14. If I’m approved, will I stay enrolled in the program or will I have to reapply to pay

future bills?

No. This is only a one-time grant.  You cannot receive multiple grants.

15.  Will payment be made to me, or to my landlord, mortgage servicer, or utility


 Payments are made directly to the landlord, mortgage servicer, or utility company.


16.  If I had to quit my job in order to care for a child and resulted in a loss of income,

       am I eligible?

 Yes.  You will need to inform the Ka Wailele program in the financial hardship

 explanation section in the application.  Additional documentation will be requested by a

 Ka Wailele representative.

  1. I am a kupuna on social security income, does this count as a financial hardship?  No. We understand the hardship of being on fixed income, but unfortunately the program does not consider this a financial hardship for emergency assistance.

  1. My rent got increased, does this count as a financial hardship?

No. An increase in rent is not considered a financial hardship for the program.

  1. Does Ka Wailele help with phone, internet, and cable?

No. These are not considered utilities by the program. If you need assistance with internet services and you are a renter, you may be eligible for assistance through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program in your County.  Here is a list of links for the County programs: