$60M directed to municipal utility relief
Northam directs CARES Act funding to effort
While some Virginians fear power and water shutoffs during the pandemic, Gov. Ralph Northam announced Monday that an additional $60 million in federal CARES Act funding will go toward municipal utility relief efforts.
“These are challenging times for Virginia families and businesses, and we remain committed to helping them keep the electricity on and the water running,” Northam said in a statement. “This program will provide critical financial relief to those struggling to pay their utility bills and ensure that Virginians can remain safely in their homes with access to basic utilities as we continue our fight against COVID-19.”
This allocation is in addition to Northam’s proposed budget amendment to direct $60 million for jurisdictional utilities. Administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Department of Accounts, the municipal program will allow counties and cities to apply to set up smaller, locally administered relief programs to support customer’s bill payments and outstanding debt.
“Families can sleep easier at night knowing their lights will remain on and their water running — and our commonwealth will be safer as a result,” Secretary of Commerce and Trade Brian Ball said in a statement.
Eligibility criteria and applications will be available through the DHCD’s website in the coming weeks, according to a statement from Northam.