Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Council President Nury Martinez, 6th District, and Council President Pro Tempore Mitch O’Farrell, 13th District, recently announced that the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has issued $275 million in utility debt relief to 280,000 residential and commercial customers.
“For the past two years, debt has dragged down countless lives and livelihoods. We’re proud to lift that burden for hundreds of thousands of families and business owners,” Garcetti said. “This relief is more than just a shot in the arm for those behind on their utility bills – it’s a new set of doors to opportunity and a fresh start for Angelenos who have suffered financially because of the pandemic.”
The debt relief was provided first to the state of California through the American Rescue Plan Act passed by the Biden administration last year. When Garcetti issued his Safer at Home Order in March 2020, he directed LADWP to enact a moratorium on utility shut-offs due to late payments. Since the beginning of the pandemic, LADWP has incurred $827 million in utility debt.
In February 2021, LADWP provided $33.7 million to 67,000 low-income customers in a one-time utility debt relief action funded through the CARES Act, which was disseminated through $500 direct checks to customers. The mayor’s office, LADWP and the Bureau of Sanitation are continuing to advocate for additional utility relief at the state and federal levels.
“We have to make sure that Angelenos know they have access to these crucial programs,” Martinez said. “To the families sitting around the kitchen table wondering if they’ll be able to make ends meet this month and all Angelenos who have worked hard to keep themselves afloat throughout this pandemic, through sickness and job loss, we want you to know that help is on the way.”
“Since the onset of the pandemic, I have been a vocal advocate for financial assistance for Angelenos who have faced economic hardships due to COVID-19, including providing a utility subsidy at the local level,” O’Farrell said. “The Los Angeles City Council has worked tirelessly to help those in need, including enacting the nation’s strongest eviction moratorium and largest municipal rental relief program. With this relief package, help is indeed on the way. Even as Los Angeles emerges from the pandemic, we must continue to assist those affected by COVID-19.”
For information on LADWP debt relief programs and assistance, visit ladwp.com.
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