LIHU‘E — Since opening for applications in the first week of May, 600 households have applied for the coronavirus rental and utility assistance program on Kaua‘i, and there’s still funding available.
Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union and Kaua‘i County Housing Agency have been working together to help the public apply for the program, which is administered by KGEFCU in partnership with the County of Kaua‘i, Kupa‘a Kaua‘i, and the Kaua‘i County Housing Agency. The Coronavirus Rental and Utilities Assistance program provides relief solely to Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau residents for assistance in the payment of rent and utility arrears and up to three months of future rent, covering a 12-month period from March 2020 until December 2021, or until funds are exhausted.
Tuesday, KGEFCU’s in-person application assistance center at the Pi‘ikoi building opened to a line of applicants with assistance provided to over 30 households. Some may experience technical issues when applying online, which KGEFCU has addressed these issues and asks those applying to check the CRUA website www.kauairenthelp.com/home frequently for up-to-date information and troubleshooting tips.
“We appreciate the public’s patience as we process close to 600 applications, field countless phone calls, answer emails, and reach out to applicants” said Community Development Officer Dana Hazelton. “We hear your need for help, and we have dedicated staff to assist both tenants and landlords with applications. While information from both tenants and landlords is needed to process an application, failure to provide documents from one’s landlord does not mean applicants will not qualify.”
CEO Monica Belz underlined KGEFCU’s commitment to equitable relief: “If a landlord is unable, unavailable or unwilling to submit the required forms, this will not be cause for denial of aid. We encourage those in need to apply to the best of their ability and contact us with any questions or documentation issues.”
The 2021 CRUA program is being deployed in collaboration with Kaua‘i’s public library system, with the library offering free computer access to the community for the purpose of accessing the CRUA online application.
“The initial and ongoing success of the CRUA program lies in the strength of our community partnerships. The County of Kaua‘i, the Kaua‘i County Housing agency, and Kupaa Kaua‘i have been instrumental in expanding our getting the message out and servicing this program. Together, we are the “boots on the ground” providing equitable access to ensure housing stability on our island,” said Belz.
Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union thanks Kaua‘i County Housing Agency for the coordination of volunteers who are donating their time to work with the public and also to Kaua‘i’s affordable housing property managers for assisting tenants with the required documentation. “We understand this can be a tremendous amount of additional work on their behalf,” said Hazelton. “and we recognize and appreciate their time and energy in assisting their tenants.”
Hazelton concluded: “We want to assure the community, that there is still ample funding available, and we will be working through the application queue in a timely manner. We are here to help you, so please apply.”
For full details, information on the program and how to apply, visit the CRUA webpage at www.kauairenthelp.com/home.