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Kauaʻi Rent, Utility Assistance Program Still Accepting Applications

Casey Harlow / HPR

Kauaʻi residents needing rent or utility assistance can get in-person help until Thursday. The Kauaʻi Government Employees Federal Credit Union is hosting events for those needing help applying for county relief.

Tuesday, the credit union is hosting an event at its Kīlauea branch at the Ahuimanu Shopping Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

KGEFCU is also holding events on Wednesday at the Kalāheo Neighborhood Center, and Thursday at The Hanalei Initiative. Both events will take place between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The county's assistance program has been open since May. It gives qualified households up to $4,500 a month for rent for up to a year, and there's no cap for qualifying utilities.

"In order to qualify, you need to be a Kauaʻi resident, you need to actually be a renter, need to be over 18, you have to show some loss of income or other financial hardship related to COVID-19," said Adam Roversi, Kauaʻi's housing director.

"It doesn't necessarily mean that you need to have lost your job. You could have had reduced hours. You could have had increasing childcare expenses due to schools being closed."

Roversi says applicants also have to meet the county's income requirements. For Kauaʻi's program, residents making 80% of the island's area median income - also known as AMI - or below are eligible.

On Kauaʻi, 80% AMI for a single person is $57,100, and for a household of four it's $81,550.

Roversi says there is no cap to how many people the county can assist. But he encourages anyone that has seen any impact due to the pandemic, no matter how small, to apply for assistance.

"We have a total of $22 million in assistance to help the citizens of Kauaʻi. To date, I believe we have received applications asking for about $8.8 million in help," he said.

More information can be found at KauaiRentHelp.com

Casey Harlow was an HPR reporter and occasionally filled in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
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