The City of South Bend is wiping the slate clean for residents as we recover and rebuild after COVID-19. In that spirit, the City is announcing an historic wave of Utility Relief. Almost 5,000 residential accounts will see a dramatic reduction or a total forgiveness of delinquent balances in March 2022.
LEARN ABOUT THE IMPACT OF UTILITY RELIEF
Below are maps that show the impact that Utility Relief is having on our community. The first is a heat map of all 4,957 accounts impacted by utility relief. The second is a heat map of all $3.1 Million dollars spent on utility relief.
Red indicates a higher concentration of accounts.
Purple indicates a lower concentration of accounts.
4,957 ACCOUNTS IMPACTED BY UTILITY RELIEF
$3.1 MILLION SPENT ON UTILITY RELIEF
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)
Regardless of whether I received this one time benefit, my household will still struggle to pay our bill moving forward. What can I do?
Please apply for any and all programs you might be eligible for, in particular:
- Utility Assistance Program (UAP)
- Apply at southbendin.gov/uap or
- Call 311 and a liaison will help
- Energy Assistance Program
- Apply at https://ihcda.rhsconnect.com/ or
- Call REAL Services at 574-232-6501
Which accounts were eligible for Utility Relief?
All accounts that were residential, active, within city limits, and had a balance that was 60+ days past its bill date as of the end of February 2022 were eligible for Utility Relief.
How many accounts were impacted?
Up to $2,500 in delinquency was forgiven from each account.
How much did the city spend on this program? Where did the money come from?
$3,126,726.30 was spent on Utility Relief. These funds came from the American Rescue dollars received from the City from the federal government in 2021. The Mayor proposed that a portion of the funds be spent on Utility Relief and Council approved the use of the funds during the 2022 budget cycle.
Tell me more about the accounts that were impacted.
Higher on this page you will see a heat map of all of the accounts and see how this Utility Relief was distributed across the City. Out of all of these accounts, an average of $631 was forgiven and a median of $418 was forgiven. Only 55 accounts received the max $2,500 forgiveness and were left with a balance. The rest, about 99% of eligible accounts, were fully forgiven.
Why so many accounts? Why was this program designed this way?
The goal of Utility Relief was just that – relief. To provide a quick, easy relief for residents with no applications, bureaucracy, or hoops to jump through. The City designed this program to hit as many utility accounts as possible that seemed to be in distress. The goal was to err on the side of being generous. That being said, forgiveness was capped at $2500. This cap is high enough to fully forgive 99% of eligible accounts, leaving out some high outliers who still remain in delinquency.
I received my Utility Relief, but I don’t need it. What would you recommend?
We recommend you donate the money to a favorite local charity or spend it at one of South Bend’s wonderful local businesses.