Virginia has allocated additional federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) available pursuant to the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) for the purpose of allowing municipal utilities providing electric, gas, water and wastewater services to set up local utility relief programs for their customers impacted by COVID-19.
Counties and cities, in partnership with a municipal utility that is overseen by a local governing body, will be able to apply to for funding to set up locally administered utility relief programs to assist their customers with arrearages that have not been paid to the municipal utility as a result of the customer experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The arrearage assistance will cover the period from March 1, 2020-Oct. 31, 2020. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will be facilitating an application process for localities to apply in partnership with their municipal utilities to utilize the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program to create local relief programs for eligible customers subject to abiding by U.S. Treasury guidance and other regulatory matters concerning the use of CRF funds.
Additional details about the application process for localities and municipal utilities will be distributed by DHCD and posted on the DHCD website once they become available in the coming weeks.
Eligibility rules and information for members of the public who may be seeking municipal utility relief will be made available by participating municipal utilities in the upcoming weeks. Customers should contact their municipal utility for information.
Applications to the SCC for the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program are due by Close of Business on November 30, 2020. The Application can be found via the DHCD memo (linked below).
For questions, please contact DHCD at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on this the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program, please see the following:
- DHCD’s Utility Relief Website: https://www.dhcd.virginia.gov/utilityrelief
- DHCD’s Memo on the Relief Program: Memo sent to Municipal Utility Directors; and City, County, and Town Chief Administrative Officers Regarding the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program (November 19, 2020)
VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.