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* Hampton City News

Posted on: December 18, 2020

Funds available for help with some utility bills for people economically hurt by coronavirus

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Dec. 18, 2020 - Hampton Roads residents and businesses struggling with past-due water and wastewater bills because of COVID-19 are eligible for some relief. Funds are limited, so people are advised to submit applications quickly.

People with overdue direct charges occurring between March 1 - Dec. 30, 2020, are eligible for assistance. To qualify, residents must self-certify they have experienced COVID-related issues that have caused economic hardship such as: job layoffs; job loss due to employment closings; reduction in work hours; staying home to care for children due to daycare and school closings; or lost child or spousal support. Relief also covers those who have been unable to work or missed work due to contracting COVID-19; unable to find work due to COVID-19; or unable to participate in their previous employment due to a high risk of severe illness.

The local utilities will provide assistance to residents and businesses with COVID-related past due balances until Jan. 27, 2021 or until the funding runs out. The funds are from the federal CARES Act through the Commonwealth of Virginia Municipal Utility Relief Program. 

“We are urging qualifying Hampton Roads residents and small business owners to apply for this funding today, not tomorrow,” said Edward G. Henifin, general manager of Hampton Roads Sanitation District. “The process is quick and easy, but the funds are only available for a limited time.”

Applications for assistance with HRSD bills can be found here. Applications for Newport News Waterworks are here. People can also call Waterworks' customer service at 757-926-1000.

“The application process is simple and requires little time and documentation,” said Whitney Katchmark, a principal water resources engineer with the regional Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. “We want residents to take advantage of this relief program now because once the funds are gone, they’re gone.”

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