Coronavirus Updates

COVID Rental, Utility Assistance Program Open in May

Posted April 7, 2021, 11:34 AM HST

The County of Kaua‘i has announced that administration of Kaua‘i’s 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program has been awarded to Kaua‘i Government Employees Federal Credit Union (KGEFCU). 

Applications to the program are anticipated to open the first week of May.

“As a trusted community partner, KGEFCU helped administer the State of Hawai‘i’s Rent and Relief Housing Assistance Program in 2020 along with other providers across the state, deploying 25% of the State’s total assistance,” said Mayor Derek Kawakami. “KGEFCU is well-suited to administer and deploy this new program for Kaua‘i residents and ensure vital community support is distributed fairly across the island, bringing much-needed relief to both renters and landlords affected by the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.”

The program is designed to help individuals and families in Kaua‘i County with rental and utility assistance. Eligible individuals include Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau residents, with incomes of not more than 80% of the area median income (AMI), and can demonstrate a reduction of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligible assistance can be used to pay for future rent, rental arrears, and utilities in arrears during the program period of March 2020 through December 2021.

“Preserving housing stability on Kaua‘i as we recover from the COVID crisis is paramount,” said Monica Belz, CEO of KGEFCU. “We are humbled by the needs of local families throughout Kaua‘i, and we are working tirelessly with the County to develop and deploy this program to our community as soon as possible.”

KGEFCU will host a public webinar to provide further details and a Q&A about the rental assistance program on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 5 pm. The webinar will be recorded and publicly posted for future viewing. To register for this webinar, please visit https://bit.ly/2RaNnXh.

Applications to the program is anticipated to open the first week of May. An announcement will be made when a firm date is confirmed.

Households who have been impacted, directly or indirectly, by the COVID-19 pandemic and are past due on their rent and/or utilities are encouraged to apply through www.KauaiRentHelp.com when applications open. Interested households may also email rent@kgefcu.org for assistance with completing their application. Eligible applicants may receive up to $2,000 per month for rent and up to $400 per month for qualifying utilities. Information is required from both tenants and landlords in order for an application to be completed and qualify for the program. Cooperation from both parties is greatly appreciated.

For more information on the American Rescue Plan’s Relief for Renters and Homeowners, visit https://www.schatz.senate.gov/coronavirus/renters-homeowners.

Persons without internet access or a computer are encouraged to visit one of the satellite program locations around Kaua‘i. Call (808) 482-2777 for more information on the hours of operation of these satellite locations, and check www.KauaiRentHelp.com for a calendar of visits.

If you need an auxiliary aid/service or other accommodation due to a disability, contact KGEFCU at rent@kgefcu.org as soon as possible. Include “ADA” in the subject line of the email. Requests made as early as possible will allow adequate time to fulfill your request. Upon request, this notice is available in alternate formats such as large print, Braille, or electronic copy.

Eligibility:

To qualify for rent or utility assistance when applications open in May, applicants must meet the following criteria:

·        Be a Kaua‘i County resident

·        Be at least 18 years old

·        Have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have an annual gross household income at or below 80% of the area median income (AMI) for the number of members in their household. For reference, the following illustrates the 80% AMI for various household sizes:

o   1 person: $54,400

o   2 persons: $62,160

o   3 persons: $69,920

o   4 persons: $77,680

o   5 persons: $83,920

o   6 persons: $90,160

o   7 persons: $96,400

o   8 persons: $102,560

Households with income of no more than 50% percent of the AMI or in which one or more household member(s) is unemployed and has been unemployed for 90 days will be prioritized.

Funding will be limited to households’ primary residence of Kaua‘i and Ni‘ihau. Households will be limited to 12 months of total grant assistance.

More information on Kaua‘i’s 2021 Coronavirus Rental and Utility Assistance Program will be provided on www.KauaiRentHelp.com and announced prior to applications opening in May.

 
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