City adding funds to COVID-19 Utility Relief program to aid residents with past due Louisville Water and MSD bills
Mayor Greg Fischer announced today the city is adding $2.5 million to its COVID-19 Utility Relief program to help residents who have fallen behind on Louisville Water and Louisville MSD bills as a result of COVID-19.
The funds will go toward the Louisville Water Company/MSD’s Drops of Kindness program to assist residents with a past-due amount on an active Louisville Water/MSD account. The outstanding balance must have occurred between March 16, 2020 and June 30, 2021, and customers will need to attest they have had a financial hardship during the pandemic.
Qualifying customers can receive a one-time credit of up to $1,000 on their Louisville Water/MSD bill.
Funding for this assistance comes from the Louisville’s first round of spending of its federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars, which were targeted at urgent needs.
“Many of the people being helped by our COVID-19 Utility Relief program have never fallen behind on their bills before the pandemic impacted their jobs and their hours,” Mayor Fischer said. “We are grateful that the ARP funding allows us to help them get back on track.”
The application process Metro COVID-19 Relief Louisville Water Company/MSD Assistance is as follows:
- Have a residential account in Jefferson County
- Have a past-due balance sometime between March 16, 2020 – June 30, 2021
- Identify a COVID-19 based financial hardship
- There is no income requirement to receive the credit; customers will respond to a series of prompts to verify their eligibility.
How to apply:
- Apply online using the self-service portal at https://louisvillewater.com/CovidFunds
- Customers without computer access can visit local Community Ministries. To locate the community ministry nearest you, visit www.louisvilleministries.org or call Metro United Way's 2-1-1.
“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen community and government work together to address affordability with the Drops of Kindness program,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water. “We thank Louisville Metro for this much-needed assistance.”
“We recognize the financial difficulties many are facing with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the support and payment relief these dollars will bring to many in our community,” said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott.
Since the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, customers who fell behind on paying their Louisville Water and MSD bill did not face an interruption in their water service. The number of customers with outstanding balances grew to 18,000 in June 2020, with more than 70% of those customers having never missed a payment before or only one time.
In response, Louisville Water was able to quickly distribute Louisville Metro’s initial $4 million in COVID Relief in early 2021 to 11,765 residential customers utilizing a new Louisville Metro COVID Relief Portal. Louisville Metro also assisted more than 11,400 LG&E customers with outstanding balances with $6 million in utility assistance. Funding for these programs was made possible through general fund dollars freed up by Federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security).
To demonstrate the current need, as of August 1, 2021, there were 12,000 Louisville Water and MSD customers behind on their payments. The utilities are slowly beginning to disconnect service for customers who do not pay and do not reach out to the utility for assistance.
Louisville Water is reminding customers who may still have an outstanding balance, to take advantage of the Drops of Kindness Program, which offers flexible, no-interest payment plans and additional help from community agencies through the Louisville Water Foundation.
“It’s important for customers to know that we want to help,” Bruce said. “Drops of Kindness is a customized approach, so an unpaid bill doesn’t leave a customer in a bind.”
The Louisville Water/MSD assistance is in addition to $2.5 million announced in July to help customers who have fallen behind on LG&E bills due to a COVID-19 financial impact. For eligibility and to schedule an appointment for help with an LG&E bill, call 502-977-6636 or visit online at LGEHelp.itfrontdesk.com. The toll-free service is currently open and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information on both programs, residents can visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services, call Metro United Way’s help referral service at 211, or Metro311 by simply dialing 311 or (502) 574-5000 or email [email protected].