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Utility relief available to people, businesses with overdue balances due to COVID-19

People who were late paying their utility bills due to the coronavirus pandemic are getting help. There is assistance for businesses, too.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
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NORFOLK, Va. — Help has arrived for individuals in the Hampton Roads area who were unable to pay their utility bills due to being impacted by the coronavirus.

The Hampton Roads Water and Wastewater utilities are providing assistance to small business owners and residents with overdue balances that were caused by the coronavirus pandemic.  

“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 (HRSD). “The process is quick and easy, but the funds are only available for a limited time.”

This was made available through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Municipal Utility Relief Program.

Utility officials said assistance will be provided until Jan. 27, 2021 or until the funds run out. 

Residents are urged to apply as soon as possible, as the deadlines to apply could differ.

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

Individuals with overdue direct charges that occurred between March 1 - Dec. 30 for water and wastewater utility bills are eligible to receive assistance.

Residents are required to self-certify, confirming that they were impacted by COVID-19 and experienced issues that caused them to be behind including 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.   

Those who were infected by the virus and were unable to work also qualify for relief, according to utility officials. This also includes high-risk individuals who missed work.

For more information, including how to apply for relief, click here.