The Los Angeles City Council approved a program today that would pay for a portion of the trash pick-up debt that qualifying low-income Angelenos accrued in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
"Although we are in a much better place now as a city, families are still hurting from the pandemic," said Council President Nury Martinez. "These funds are coming to Angelenos at a crucial time when so many communities are focused on finding financial stability. Whether it’s paying for trash to be picked up or helping our neighbors keep the lights on, this city is committed to seeing Angelenos through to the other side of this pandemic."
The approved report allocates funding to the Bureau of Sanitation (BOS) to provide utility relief to Angelenos who experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a report from the City’s Chief Legislative Analyst, There are 23,101 accounts with a total of $7.95 million in debt from trash pickup services that qualify for the newly allocated funds. These relief funds will be applied automatically to customer’s LADWP bills and will not require any action on the customer’s behalf. Qualifying customers should see this credit applied in late June/early July 2022.
"Even as we put the worst of the pandemic behind us, many Angelenos continue to struggle financially," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. "This latest round of assistance is a continuation of our COVID relief efforts - the strongest in the nation - furthering our work to protect and uplift Los Angeles' most vulnerable households."
Of the $10 million allocated today, an initial transfer of $8 million will meet the needs of the qualifying low-income Angelenos who accrued trash pickup debt during the March 4, 2020 to June 15, 2021 period. The remaining $2 million will be rolled over to the following fiscal year, allowing the Council to continue this relief program and cover debt accrued during the Omicron wave.
"We are grateful for the efforts by Council President Nury Martinez and the entire City Council for once again helping LA's utility customers catch up on their overdue utility bills," said LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams. "We understand that many customers were hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and these funds will go a long way toward providing much needed relief to thousands of customers. We also encourage any customer who remains behind on their LADWP bill to sign-up for an extended payment plan at www.ladwp.com/cares."
In addition to the funds that the LA City Council has allocated, the city has received an additional $59.7 million in funding for utility relief to address the sewage debts for 74,729 residential and 5,220 commercial customers that were accrued since March 2020. This is on top of the $275 million the city has already disbursed to reduce water and power debt for around 280,000 customers who accrued unpaid bills throughout the pandemic.
For information on LADWP debt relief programs and assistance, visit ladwp.com.