Rent and utility assistance goes on the road

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Marlyn Stoner and Kristina Iida of the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union work with a client on rent and utility relief, Monday during the program’s in-person assistance stop at the Hanapepe Neighborhood Center.

HANAPEPE — People curious about the rent and utility program administered by the Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union can visit www.KauaiRentHelp.com/home for both information and application forms.

Starting Monday, and continuing through Aug. 19, the KGEFCU takes this on the road with in-person assistance.

“We have to leave by 6 a.m., to make the convoy that will get us to The Hanalei Initiative,” said Marlyn Stoner, one of the KGEFCU team working Monday at the Hanapepe Neighborhood Center. “We’re there from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and need to get into the convoy after that.”

Stoner was among the KCEFCU team helping clients with both information and the application process for the 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program, designed to support individuals and families to cover essential costs of living expenses as the economy recovers in the aftermath of the pandemic.

“I think my wife took care of this through the computer,” said a park user taking a morning workout in the adjacent baseball fields and park. “We got covered for three months alright. I think they’re recertifying the information to extend the program. I’m glad to see they’re coming out because not everyone has access to computers.”

Expenses eligible for the rental and utility relief include rental arrears, future rent, and utilities in arrears for March 2020 through December 2021.

Households that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and are past due on their rent and/or utilities are encouraged to apply for the program.

“We have about 50 new, or first-time applicants right now,” Stoner said, pausing to greet a client who arrived with another client who had earlier processed her application after being laid off from her job as a result of the pandemic. “We’re also in the recertification process with other clients.”

The county’s Housing Director Adam Roversi said these on-the-road stops are perfect for clients to learn more about the program.

“We encourage all residents who are struggling with rent and utility payments to apply for this program,” Roversi said. “We’re doing all we can to make this process as seamless as possible. It’s also important to remember that the CDC’s recent eviction ban is only temporary, Hawai‘i’s eviction moratorium ended Aug. 6. This is why it is important to prepare sooner rather than later.”

The rental and utility assistance team will be at the KGEFCU Kilauea Branch on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Ahuimanu Shopping Center across from the Kong Lung Store. The team moves to the Kalaheo Neighborhood Center, Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., before joining the convoy on Thursday for the Hanalei Initiative from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Face masks are required, and social distancing guidelines will be enforced.

A list of required documentation needed to process the applications are available at www.KauaiRentHelp.com/home, and applicants are encouraged to have this done ahead of the visit.

Funding is limited to households’ primary residence on Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau, and will be limited to 12 months of total grant assistance. The program does not provide mortgage assistance.

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