By Nancy I. Maanao
(Tumon, Guam) The public health emergency on Guam pushed a pause button for renters. They haven't had to pay rent during these months. Their rent payments didn't go away, though; those payments have been accumulating. And once the emergency is over, the rent may be due, depending upon the ability and willingness of landlords to to finance back rent over a payback schedule, or to call it all in at once.
That has some residents worried.
"My landlord has been telling me that once the emergency is over then my rent is due," one Kandit viewer told us. "I lost my job during this Coronavirus thing, so if my unemployment doesn't get here before the rent is due then my family is in trouble."
Managing reasonable public policy tailored to the changing needs of the American people throughout this crisis has been a feat for Congress. So, with unemployment benefits slow to reach qualified Guamanians on the probable cusp of the local emergency ending soon, Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas has pushed for more stop-gap funding to help people get over this hump.
The following is news from the Office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas:
Congress appropriated an additional $4B to the Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program in the CARES Act in order to address the homeless population and those who are at risk of becoming homeless due to the coronavirus pandemic. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released an additional $2,630,542 to Guam to be used for the following purposes:
- Make more emergency shelters available for homeless individuals and families.
- Operate emergency shelters by providing food, rent, security, maintenance, repair, fuel, equipment, insurance, utilities, furnishings, and supplies necessary for their operation.
- Provide Hotel/Motel Vouchers for homeless families and individuals.
- Provide essential services to people experiencing homelessness including childcare, education services, employment assistance, outpatient health services, legal services, mental health services, substance abuse treatment services, and transportation.
- Prevent individuals from becoming homeless and rapidly rehouse homeless individuals.
This allocation is in addition to the $888,696 that was released on April 2, 2020 to the island in the first tranche of funding, bringing the total to $3,519,238 in CARES Act homeless assistance funding Guam has received.
"With over $3.5 million made available to Guam in the CARES Act to address homeless issues, it is my hope that we can see results soon for this at-risk community, whom so far have not seen substantial tangible outcomes in the projects initiated with the funding long since provided," states Congressman San Nicolas.