Blue Mountain Credit Union in College Place is trying out a new loan program that executives hope can ease the burden for renters, especially in the financial throes of the COVID-19-related recession.
Executive Vice President Norma Hernández, who is also the mayor of College Place, said the Open Doors Loan Program is "aimed at getting people into safe housing."
The loan program is considered a pilot program, according to the financial institution.
Six small credit unions within Washington are offering personal, unsecured loans that will provide help with the cost of first and last month's rent, plus security deposit.
Those aspects "oftentimes are are barriers to accessing safe and affordable workforce housing," according to an informational document from the credit union.
"Additionally, we are currently doing the loan to people who fell behind on rent due to COVID-19," Hernández said in an email.
"This loan program will directly address the immediate need for more affordable workforce housing in our local communities," the document noted.
For working individuals and families with incomes at 80% or less of the median income of the area within the county in which they reside, Blue Mountain will offer the low-rate loan.