LIHU‘E — On the opening day of acceptance of applications for the 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance (CRUA) Program, approximately 500 Kaua‘i households applied.
The program offers the single most significant award of rent and utility assistance since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Administered by Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union in partnership with the county, Kupa‘a Kaua‘i and the County Housing Agency, the grants are offered solely to Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau residents for assistance in the payment of rent and utility arrears, covering a 21-month period from March 2020 until December 2021, or until funds are exhausted.
Kaua‘i’s housing crisis has been compounded throughout the pandemic, with 44% of all Kaua‘i households considered “cost-burdened,” or having housing costs exceeding 30% of income before March 2020.
“We are acutely aware of the anxiety and stress in the community during these challenging times, and we are dedicated to processing these applications to get monetary relief out as quickly as possible,” said Monica Belz, KGEFCU CEO.
“This will assist in alleviating the current stress and stabilizing our island economy for a full recovery from COVID-19. We want to thank tenants and landlords for working together to apply for this assistance,” she said.
The CRUA program is deployed in collaboration with Kaua‘i’s state public-library system, with libraries offering free computer access for the purposes of accessing the CRUA online application.
Library staff across the island have been trained by KGEFCU staff to ensure an easily-accessible application process and timely deployment of funds to those who need them most. As part of the program, KGEFCU has created library help cards for applicants, and donated over 100 thumb drives for public use.
Intake specialists will be reaching out to landlords and property managers for W-9s and vendor verification forms if these are not included with applications. While completed applications will reduce processing time, KGEFCU’s intake team will assist if more documentation is required.
“Please apply,” said Adam Roversi, CHA director. “Our job is to assist you in qualifying. The CRUA program is designed to help if you’re a renter and you have suffered a loss of income or job loss due to COVID-19. It’s incredibly important that you give it a shot. We can’t help you if you don’t apply.”
For full details, information on the program and how to apply, visit the CRUA webpage at kauairenthelp.com/home. Follow @KGEFCU on Instagram and Facebook for updates.