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NAU’s reputation for late pay hurts family’s search for housing

The mother of a special needs child says she can’t find a landlord to accept Needs Assessment Unit rent payments while government works to repair her home.

Norene Ebanks, whose daughter Donnette  Thompson has cerebral palsy, told Cayman 27 government has indicated it is ready to start work as soon as she can find a temporary living arrangement. Last November, Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden vowed to take action after seeing for himself the family’s living situation.

But finding an apartment on a maximum budget of $1200 a month is proving next to impossible, especially when a prospective landlord finds out the payments will come from the NAU.

She said the NAU is notorious for late or slow payments.

11-year old Donnette Thompson was born with cerebral palsy

“The NAU needs to change their system,” she said. “They need to have that system that they have in place revised, so that these landlords would be more appreciative of the payments from the NAU, they won’t be late.”

The NAU told Cayman 27 says its rental agreements have language that stipulates a 21-business day waiting period for a first month’s payment because several agencies are involved in the processing a check.

The NAU said they are looking at areas to gain efficiencies with the system.

“We always try our best to work along with the landlords as we appreciate the difficulties and the need for on time payment. Despite these challenges it is our intention to continue to maintain and further develop the relationship we presently have with our many landlords. We hope to be able to do the same with potential landlords as well,” explained NAU Deputy Director Matthew Hylton in a written statement.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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