Los Angeles Department of Water and Power unveils largest debt assistance program in LA history

More than 250,000 customers impacted by the pandemic are set to receive assistance in paying their past due utility bills.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and its Board of Commissioners unveiled its largest debt assistance program in L.A. history.

More than 250,000 customers impacted by the pandemic are set to receive assistance in paying their past due utility bills.

Officials said they're expecting to get $183 million in relief money to help get it done.

"No one should live under the stress inducing day-to-day threat of having their utility shut off because their DWP bills accumulated while they were effectively severed from their livelihoods by a pandemic," said President of L.A. Board of Water and Power Commissioners Cynthia McClain-Hill.

Customers like West Hollywood resident Andre Nuestro said the help is coming in right on time. He said the stress certainly took a toll as he struggled to keep up with his utility bills.

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The city of Anaheim says it's eligible for up to $46 million in state and federal funds to give away.



"Yeah it was a little rough," said Nuestro. "I did lose my job, so the fact that the bills kept coming in, and it was just kind of questionable because it seemed like the whole world had to stop so why did we have to keep paying for our utilities and all that stuff, you know?"

The LADWP said no applications are required, but in order to be eligible, you must have been impacted financially between March 2020 and Jun 2021.

"I definitely feels like it's going to help a lot of people," said Nuestro. "Given that a lot of people have gotten jobs since the pandemic happened, I still feel like there are a lot of people including myself that may be struggling with it, so I think having an organization come in and kind of give us a little helping hand would mean a lot."

The board is also expected to extend its shut-off moratorium to March 2022 to allow time for assistance funds to be applied to bills. This will also give customers plenty of time to access financial relief funds from other assistance programs.

For more information, visit LADWP's website.

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