cares photo illustration

cares photo illustration

Kenai, borough announce new grant programs

Small business assistance and rent and mortgage relief are available to some residents

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has launched round two of its small business grant program. The city of Kenai is now offering rent and mortgage relief for city residents who have lost income due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Borough small business grant

For small business owners who are struggling financially and operate within the borough but outside the limits of one of the incorporated cities, the borough is offering grants of up to $35,000, with award amounts based on 2019 gross revenues.

From now until 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, those who are eligible can go cares.kpb.us to begin filling out an application. Business owners can only receive the grant once, so anyone who received a grant from the borough during the first application window cannot apply again.

To assist residents with the grant application process, the borough will be holding a series of open house events throughout the peninsula at the following dates and locations:

Sunrise Inn, 21849 Sterling Highway, Cooper Landing — Sept. 18, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Ninilchik Senior Center, 66265 Aspen Ave., Ninilchik — Sept. 21, 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Aspen Suites Hotel, 91 Sterling Highway, Homer — Sept. 21, 7-9 p.m.

Hard copies of the application are also available at the Borough Administrative Building in Soldotna as well as the Borough Annex facilities in Homer and Seward.

Call 907-714-2153 or email grants@kpb.us for more information about the borough’s grant programs.

City of Kenai mortgage and rent relief

The city of Kenai, much like the city of Soldotna announced last week, is partnering with the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation to provide up to $1,200 a month in housing assistance from September through December. The program is an extension of the one-time relief offered by AHFC in June and is available for Kenai residents who have a household income of less than $71,760, which is 80% of the median household income for the area.

The income calculation is based on what household members are earning after any job losses, cutbacks in hours or reduced self-employment income caused by the ongoing pandemic.

Out of the 8,000 Alaskans who applied for housing assistance in June, about 80 of the households were from the city of Kenai. Any households that received this summer assistance do not need to reapply.

“It makes sense for the City of Kenai to start with that list, open the program to new applications, and use the state housing agency’s experience to help Kenai households in need,” Kenai City Manager Paul Ostrander said in a Monday release detailing the program. “This is the fastest way to get help to our City residents struggling to pay their rent or mortgage due to losing their jobs or losing hours at work.”

The application is open from now until December and can be found at Kenaihousingrelief.org. Applicants can call 833-551-0501 for more information.

Reach reporter Brian Mazurek at bmazurek@peninsulaclarion.com.

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