Utility bill help could be available for more Kentuckians


FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

FRANKFORT, KY (WOWK) – Kentuckians with overdue utility bills may be seeing some relief after Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear says $38 million is now available to local governments to help with those bills in their juristdictions.

According to the governor’s office, the Department for Local Government will administer the funding from the Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response program, which was established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Beshear says each local government unit may request up to $200,000 to assist their communities.

“Even with our victory over COVID-19 coming into sight, times are still tough for our families,” said Gov. Beshear. “We are grateful to be able to provide these funds, because they will ensure many Kentuckians won’t have to make the impossible choice between feeding their family and keeping the lights on.”

The governor says the local governments must submit an application to the Department for Local Government to apply. If that application is approved, the local government must partner with a community action agency to help with funding administration. He says the DLG has partnered with Kentucky’s 15 Area Development Districts (ADD) to make that process easier for local governments, nonprofit community service providers and eligible Kentuckians.

The application for local governments is available now on DLG’s website.

“We want to get this assistance out the door as quickly as possible because protecting Kentuckians is our number one priority,” said DLG Commissioner Dennis Keene. “We encourage local governments to submit applications as quickly as possible.”

According to the governor’s office, households are eligible for up to $250 per month for six consecutive months if:

  • They live in a city or county approved for funding;
  • Have been financially impacted by COVID-19;
  • Are struggling to pay water, sewer, electric, gas or other heating and cooling bills; and
  • Have received notice for disconnect between January 21, 2020, and present day and/or up to two months following.

A local nonprofit community service provider will transfer those funds to the utility provider on the customer’s behalf once the household’s application is approved.

To get more information on if and when CDBG-CV funds will be available in their area, Kentucky residents can contact their local government or ADD, according to the governor’s office.

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