Charity to pay COVID hit workers’ CUC bills

| 16/11/2020 | 16 Comments

(CNS): A charity created by the Cayman Islands Chamber of Commerce has plans to pay the CUC bills of some people who have either lost their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or who have had their hours drastically reduced. The money that Resilience Cayman is using to prevent families from losing their power supply comes from a $50,000 donation it has received from the R3 Foundation, the charity fund established with seed money from Dart.

Resilience spokesperson Biserka Pena said in a press release that this programme, which will last until the end of this month, was a one-time opportunity for people to apply for help with their bills and was in response to a growing need in the community.

“We have been supporting residents and families since the start of COVID-19 with food assistance. Now, eight months into the crisis, we are seeing a shift in the nature of the financial hardship many are facing,” Pena said. “We are introducing this relief programme to address the challenges that families are having in paying their CUC bills even as many are facing the prospect of service disconnection.”

Pena said that some households have months of arrears because they remain unemployed. But with the R3 donation, the charity will be able to provide assistance to hundreds of families.

“We will also provide recipient families with budgeting skills to stretch limited funds and help them to find ways that they can manage their energy consumption going forward,” Pena said.

R3 Chairman Bryan Hunter said the foundation, which was established by Dart, was responding to the growing utility crisis on a number of fronts.

“We have seen an increase in charities seeking our assistance to provide utility relief to families and individuals who are unable to keep up with regular payments due to job loss resulting from the pandemic,” he said. “From a relief standpoint, we are working with those organisations to address this urgent need [and] from a recovery perspective, we are also working with organisations… to help Caymanians who lost their jobs reskill or upskill so they can find employment.”

Pena explained that this utility relief will provide a one-time grant up to CI$250 to low-income CUC customers who are struggling to pay their electricity bill and who meet the criteria. The grant is available to residents in the Cayman Islands, including Caymanians, permanent residents and work permit holders who are at least 18 years old.

The CUC account must have a balance owing of at least one month and the account holder must have have stopped working or have significantly reduced hours because of reasons related to COVID-19 and as a result can expect to have less than CI$1,000 monthly income for this month.

Online application forms for this assistance can be found here.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Charities have no business aiding the profitability of monopoly utility providers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So Dart established this foundation to assist Cayman.

    Thank you Dart for stepping up and giving back

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Water Authority was and still is the only company showing true compassion to customers during this pandemic. I really respect them for that. I really expected CUC to step up and support their customers but have done nothing for anyone’s benefit except their own as usual.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Okay but last time I checked if you are going to help someone who is in need why impose all of those “requirements”? That is just ridiculous….either help people without making them feel like they are begging or don’t. Yes I understand some take advantage but come on now.

    If someone asked to borrow $100 from me and I said “well yes I could lend it to you but I will only do it if you have absolutely no money and on the brink of poverty” how do you think they would feel? They would not consider me a decent human being! I could never treat anybody like that.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Every time Caymanians get help we feel others should also benefit. PR recipients got it on the premise they can support themselves and unemployed W/P holders should be forced to leave the island. That’s the law, enforce it. Isn’t it enough that we’ve given 35,000+ persons Status at least 2/3 of whom didn’t deserve it and will be big trouble in future.

    • Anonymous says:

      The problem is this useless government, issuing permits, when their are caymanians here without work and having to rely on handouts. Give them hand-ups and let them live normal lives. Stop importing poverty and lowering our standards. Our people were always hardworking people, who lived by the sweat of their brow, now they are cast aside for those who hey don’t know, who come with fancy police records and are accepted as the perfect individuals.
      Deception 109. They give caymanians basket to carry water in. I hope people with remember their plight by this government. All the job/employment promises that were never fulfilled and make sure you do the honors come May 2021.

    • Anonymous says:

      I hear where you’re coming from but, its their money to give away however they please, and, its a lot simpler to say ‘ya broke? here’ than ‘prove ya Caymanian’. (We can assume some significant % will be Caymanians without passports, etc., etc., etc. We all know the immigration law is a morass and I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to wade into it if they can avoid it. So, ya broke? here.)

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why work permit holders? Thought those without work had to leave?

  7. anon says:

    Florida Power and Light were very generous to customers who lost their jobs due to Covid. What has CUC done to help their customers here?.

  8. Anonymous says:

    People need money for food!! Not CUC. For christ sake.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Organized Socialism has reached Cayman shores! Never though I would see this in Cayman. Yet, they are still approving work permits.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Please don’t say people lost their jobs “as a result of the pandemic”. They lost their jobs as a result of the government’s reaction to the pandemic. Not the same thing at all.

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