Legal professionals braced for evictions when the Hawaii moratorium ended. The wave by no means got here.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – As the eviction moratorium ended in Hawaii, local nonprofits prepared for a wave of evictions.
It never happened.
The Mediation Center of the Pacific said thousands of cases are expected. Instead, they’re just dealing with a few hundred.
The centre’s executive director, Tracey Wiltgen, said that doesn’t mean people won’t move out.
They believe there are many people who walk alone or feel like they need to get out after their landlords tell them to.
“We hear anecdotally that many tenants are moving out,” said Wiltgen. “As soon as they realize that there is no moratorium and that they cannot pay, they have moved out. In some cases the landlords went to them and asked them to move out. “
Wiltgen said many are unaware that evictions are a lengthy legal process and that tenants always have the option to seek mediation. Instead, people think there is no choice but to emigrate.
“What we do know is that most accommodations are as good as full,” said Ray Kong, Hawaii Appleseed’s legal director, Lawyers for Equal Justice.
“So it’s not that there’s the extra capacity that all of these people can hold.”
Kong said resources are still available for those who need them. The city’s rental and utility assistance program still has funding, but says it may be too late for many who have chosen to leave.
“I expect as the months go by we will hear more from service providers for displaced persons who are in difficult situations now that they have moved out of their homes,” Kong said.
Experts just hope that if someone gets an eviction notice, it doesn’t mean they have to leave immediately and that resources like mediation can put them in a better position.
William Pablo manages several properties for Queen’s Realty.
He said there are many tenants who are behind on rent. To pay his bills, he said he had to deliver eviction notices.
But the mediation helped him and his tenants to find a middle ground.
“I’m happy with it, it’s a win-win situation,” said Pablo. “We too have to survive”
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