Water and sewer bill assistance is available for low income and disadvantaged customers in New Orleans and the surrounding parish. Any funding that is available is the result of customer contributions, so the number of people assisted is limited. The Total Community Action agency administers it across the city and parish. All funding from the Water Help program comes from donations as well as matching grants from the regional Sewerage and Water Board.
A number of conditions need to be met in order to qualify for financial assistance from the Water Help Program. Any grants paid out are only for short term support as well to address a crisis. In addition, all funding is limited as it does rely on donations from the community. It relies on contributions from customers and even local businesses and matching government funds as well. Anyone can donate to the program, and if they do it will be tax deductible.
While terms and conditions will vary and can change over time, in general the customer must have received a 10-day disconnect notice and of course be a resident of Orleans Parish. Income restrictions are in place as well and will take into effect certain federal government poverty guidelines. Other conditions include that the New Orleans household needs to contain a resident that is 62 years old, disabled or handicapped. This will also need to be determined and verified by the Veterans Administration or the Social Security agency.
To apply or contribute, send funds to the Total Community Action. You can donate as much or as little as you like. Even a $1 contribution can make a difference when combined with others. Customers can make a recurring monthly contribution or provide one time payments as well. When donating money or applying, be sure to always reference the Water Help Program.
Proof of your hardship must also be provided to TCA when applying for financial help. This includes a 10-day-cut-off notice from the Sewerage and Water Board. Also be sure to provide your age, including having a driver's license or birth certificate. The applicant must also bring proof of physical disability if under the age of 62 as well as full documentation of your income. Your account can't be in a so called dispute status.
In order to apply for any type of assistance, those customers that need help should apply in person to the Plan Administrator at the Total Community Action agency for a determination of eligibility. The main office is located at 1424 South Jefferson Davis Parkway, New Orleans, Louisiana 70125. This location supports residents across the entire parish as well.
Additional assistance programs are available as well, including payment plans and extensions. While will not provide the household money for their bills, it does give them the benefit of additional time. Lower income customers who are not eligible for the New Orleans Water Help program may be provided with a payment contract. This can be used to help them pay their bill and hopefully prevent a shut off. It is short term relief only.
A payment contract or installment plan will allow you to pay the balance on your account over several months. This is an option only for those customers who have received a notice of delinquency. This form of support will also come with conditions and eligibility criteria.
If you have been enrolled into this plan, if the Orleans parish household still can't pay the contract payment amount as well as their current monthly water and sewerage charges on time, then a disconnection may take place. So all payments will still need to be made on time, by the due date.
If your water or sewer service has been disconnected, then in order to restore your account so that utilities can be turned back on, you will need to bring your account current and also pay a deposit as well as a meter removal/reset fee. Customer service representatives can expand on this process as well if and/or when it is needed. All of this will be required in order to restore your water service.
To apply to this Water Help program or learn about other financial assistance programs, dial 504-872-0334.
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