LIHU’E – On Friday, Mayor Derek Kawakami announced the success of Kaua’i County’s emergency loan program reaching 184 island residents with 0% interest loans in 10 days.
The program was launched last week by Kawakami in partnership with Hawai’i Community Foundation, Hawai’i Pacific Health and community development nonprofits, Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawai’i Community Lending.
As part of the program, HCL has provided 0% interest emergency loans of up to $ 5,000 to 72 Kaua’i households that have lost income due to COVID-19, while HCA has provided every borrower with financial advice. Organizations processed 284 loan requests and had sufficient funds to approve 25% of all requests.
âAs we work for the recovery, what is clear is the immense economic damage our island is facing,â Kawakami said. âMahalo to Priscilla (Chan) and Mark (Zuckerberg), HCF, HPH, Hawaiian Community Assets and Hawai’i Community Lending for this unique collaboration. We know that this kind of help is just the start of what will be needed across the island. “
A $ 100,000 grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Kaua’i Community Fund to HCF helped HCA and HCL mobilize public and private capital to secure a total of $ 275,000 in borrower loan approvals before the program officially closed on the 29th. April.
â(HCA and HCL) mahalo the mayor for his leadership and all the partners who have come together to bring resources to the people of Kaua’i who need them,â said Lahela Williams, executive director of HCA and HCL.
âThe program demonstrates the critical role that community development finance institutions like HCL must play in COVID emergency response and recovery. We look forward to taking the Kaua’i program model to other counties so that we can bring immediate relief to our friends, family and neighbors who have lost income.
According to Williams, Kaua’i’s emergency loans went to workers and entrepreneurs who lived on the edge of poverty or ALICE (limited assets, limited income, employees). The program has helped create a safety net so that Garden Isle residents do not fall into ALICE poverty, or further into poverty.
A total of 184 Kaua’i residents were supported and approximately $ 275,000 in capital deployed. Of this group, 29% were independent borrowers, 71% were workers, 15% were households with kupuna, 19% were owners and 61% were renters.
Applicants who remain in the program pipeline have been assessed and referred to emergency grant programs from Catholic Charities and Aloha United Way, HCL’s low interest emergency loan program, or personal loans from HCL. local credit unions and banks.
For more information on the emergency grant and loan options available to Kaua’i residents, visit www.kauai.gov/COVID-19.