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Hawaiʻi Island nonprofit loses funding for housing mediation program


The Hawaiʻi legislative session is often a mixed bag for the many organizations vying for funding. Earlier this year, some 60 nonprofits banded together to ask for an increase in funding to help with the rising cost of electricity and to help retain staff.

The West Hawaiʻi Mediation Center on Hawaiʻi Island received a state grant for a new restorative justice program but won’t get funding renewed for its popular landlord-tenant mediation program. Executive Director Eric Paul said he may have to cut staff.

"Cutting personnel, cutting staff is the last thing that we want to do as an organization," he said. "A big impact of not receiving funds like this is that as a director, it becomes much, much harder for me to even give a cost of living increase to the employees that we have, which makes it difficult to retain them in the long run."

This interview aired on The Conversation on May 23, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.

Russell Subiono is the executive producer of The Conversation. Born in Honolulu and raised on Hawaiʻi Island, he’s spent the last decade working in local film, television and radio. Contact him at talkback@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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