We provide help in the area of HOUSING LAW to families and individuals who are struggling with a variety of different issues, including:
Illegal lockout or shut-off of utilities;
Public housing or Section 8 disputes;
Requests for repairs;
Security deposit disputes;
and other housing legal issues
Legal Aid’s staff of attorneys and paralegals provide assistance with these issues through a variety of different methods, including: legal advice, help in filling out paperwork, making phone calls, document preparation, one-on-one eviction counseling with an attorney, and full representation in limited cases.
Fair Housing Enforcement Program (FHEP) aims to enforce fair housing laws by determining whether housing providers (landlords, lenders, sellers, etc.) are discriminating against individuals. For more information on FHEP click here.
To download information about HOUSING LAW
To access over 120 self-help resource materials
to assist you with your non-criminal legal needs,
primarily in the areas of Housing, Affordable Housing,
Family, Consumer, and Public Benefits Law.
This website is designed to provide general information and should not
be utilized as a substitute for professional legal advice.
Landlord Tenant Code Handbook
EVICTION - COURT PROCESS
EVICTION - COURT PROCESS - INSERT
Please print out with Court Process brochure
PUBLIC HOUSING BROCHURES
Avoiding Public Housing Problems
Public Housing Grievance Process
The purpose of the intake Hotline is to provide easy access to services at the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. Primarily, our clients can apply for services through our toll-fee state-wide phone service, which operates during the following times:
MONDAY - FRIDAY
9:00am to 11:30am in the morning, and
1:00pm to 3:30pm in the afternoon
536-4302 on OAHU, or
1-800-499-4302 on the NEIGHBOR ISLANDS
To see if you QUALIFY for Legal Aid services
Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this project addresses the legal and financial issues facing renters, home buyers, and homeowners defaulting on their mortgages, regardless of their income and assets.
Services provided through the HUD Housing Counseling Program are broken down into 4 main categories:
1) Renter’s Assistance, 2) Homeownership Counseling & Pre-purchase Issues, 3) Default & Foreclosure, 4) Predatory Lending Scams, and 5) Reverse Morgages
1) THE RENTER'S ASSISTANCE PROGRAM - provides renters with a broad range of legal assistance (from advice only to full representation) about tenants’ legal rights and responsibilities.
2) THE HOMEOWNERSHIP COUNSELLING & PRE-
PURCHASE ISSUES - provides basic pre-purchase counseling or default counseling coupled with negotiation assistance with lenders when necessary. Pre-purchase counseling provides clients interested in purchasing a home with individual assistance with financial issues and were given information about the home buying process. A client’s current budget is analyzed recommendations are made to improve their budget based on their needs. Clients are assisted with loan estimates, credit reports, loan products, tax credits and a variety of self-help programs.
3) DEFAULT & FORECLOSURE - Default and Foreclosure counseling provides clients who are in default or in the foreclosure process with individualized assistance in analysis of each client’s situation, status of delinquency, amount delinquent, past and current financial situations, expected future financial situation, goals and realistic goals. Advice is provided on client’s loss mitigation options, how to proceed in terms of the option they choose, and consequences that may follow. In some cases additional assistance is provided by contactin their lenders, assisting with workout packages, assisting with writing letters on their behalf, referrals to private attorneys, and various other services to help clients achieve their goals.
4) PREDATORY LENDING SCAMS - Predatory lending counseling provides clients with a comprehensive review of loan documents whenever possible if predatory lending is suspected. As appropriate for each individual case, the clients are assisted in negotiations with the lender to restructure the loan, assist in facilitating refinancing, and/or refer the case to legal staff or a private attorney for legal representation. Finally, individuals may receive counseling to determine if loans they are considering are predatory.
5) REVERSE MORTGAGES - Reverse Mortgage Counseling provides clients with individual counseling either in our office through home visits when necessary. Clients are given information and were counseled about the various aspects of the reverse mortgage, other options that may be available to them, and the consequences of a reverse mortgage. Upon completion of the counseling, a certificate of HECM counseling is provided allowing clients to go forward with reverse mortgage financing.
To speak with an advocate about a housing issue, call:
EXCEPTIONS TO INCOME & ASSET ELIGIBILITY
Legal Aid is allowed to waive the financial tests for certain clients contingent on funding from other sources.
• Big Island or Maui Seniors: Any Income
Change the funding code to: BIG ISLAND: Hawaii County Title III; MAUI: Maui County Title III Legal Aid has several federal grants to help the elderly (60+). Maui and the Big Island have Title III grants which pay them to do legal work for seniors. (UHELP has the Title III grant for Oahu.)
• Foreclosure/Reverse mortgage or Pre-purchase counseling: Any Income
Legal Aid has a federal grant from HUD to operate a housing counseling program. Anyone facing foreclosure should be routed to the HUD Housing counseling unit. You may call the general intake hotline during hotline hours.
• HUD Homeless – Oahu Only: Any Income
Callers who are homeless (being evicted within a week with no where to go; living on the beach, street, park or place not meant for human habitation; fleeing a domestic violence housing situation; living in an emergency shelter; living in transitional housing; or in a hospital or institution for a short stay or being discharged with no where to go) are eligible for legal services under this program.
• IRS Grant: Income up to 250% FPL
Callers are eligible for assistance with a tax dispute (this means pretty much any problem they are having with the IRS) regardless of their income. This is a statewide program, but all dockets should be forwarded to Honolulu.
• Housing Discrimination Grant: Any Income
Callers who are experiencing discrimination in any housing situation (renting a unit, financing a housing purchase, applying for subsidized housing, etc) can call our Fair Housing Enforcement Program 808-527-8024 on Oahu or 1-866-527-FAIR (3247) on the Neighbor Islands.
• KID’s 200 Grant: Income up to 200% FPL
Caller’s are eligible if they have children in the house or are a child themselves and meet one of the following six criteria: 1) There are legal barriers preventing self sufficiency, 2) There are children in the household confirmed by CPS for child abuse and neglect, 3) The children are in a violent household, 4) There are runaway or homeless children, 5) the children are being denied educational access, or 6) There are teenage parents involved. Eligibility forms need to be completed.
• Affordable Lawyers: Gap Group Income
(between 125% FPL and 250% FPL)
Legal Aid's Affordable Lawyers Project offers legal services for a below market rate fee. Give applicants who are eligible for this program the number of the Affordable Lawyers Project on their island to call themselves. Do not open a docket. NOTE: Honolulu handles affordable lawyers cases for Oahu; Maui, Kauai, Kona and Hilo each handle their own cases.