Cleco reminds customers about rental and utility assistance program
PINEVILLE, La. – Aug. 4, 2021 – Cleco Power customers who need assistance paying utility bills can still apply for funds from the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program being administered by the State of Louisiana.
The state program, which launched in March of this year, helps renters and landlords experiencing homelessness or housing instability due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was expanded in May to include utility assistance for renters.
“Funds are still available for those facing financial hardship, so customers who are renting and need help with their housing and utility bills should apply,” said Ron Smith, director of customer experience. “This is a significant benefit to our customers because the program covers past due and current utility bills. The timing also is good, as energy usage tends to be higher during the hot summer months.”
How does the program works?
- The State of Louisiana is administering the program in 57 parishes, and the program covers past due rent, future rent payments, utility costs and some late fees dating back as far as April 1, 2020.
- Seven parishes chose to apply for and receive direct allocations from the U.S. Treasury and are administering their own program. Residents in Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes must apply directly with the governing authority in their parish.
- Both renters and landlords are eligible to apply for assistance. In most cases, rental assistance will be paid directly to the landlord and utility assistance will be paid directly to the utility provider.
- Residents who are struggling to pay rent and utilities due to COVID-19.
- Residents who have past due rent notices or past due utility bills.
- Residents whose household income does not exceed 80 percent of the area median income limit for the parish.
The program is funded through the 2021 federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.