Chicago launches Utility Billing Relief program to help with water, sewer bills

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago has launched the Utility Billing Relief program, Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced at a press conference Monday.

The program aims to reduce the costs of water and sewer bills for vulnerable residents. The city said debt relief will be given to residents who are able to demonstrate an ability to manage the bills at the reduced rate for one year.

"The Chicago Utility Billing Relief Program represents our latest step in bringing long overdue financial support to residents who have struggled with their bills, forcing them to choose between paying for their water and other essentials, and in many cases succumb to debilitating debt," said Mayor Lightfoot. "We can no longer afford to hold back their potential or ours. Thanks to this program, Chicago's families and communities will now have a path forward towards compliance on payments, as well as the opportunity for total debt forgiveness, helping us build a Chicago that is more equitable, more inclusive, and more hopeful for generations to come."

The program is operating in partnership with CEDA of Cook County.

"CEDA is leveraging more than 50 years of experience in operations, education and engagement in its partnership with the City and through its work to ensure high-quality services are continuously delivered to residents," said Harold Rice, CEO of CEDA. "We are committed to working with the City to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities and empower residents now more than ever before especially during the unprecedented times that we currently face."

The city rolled out the program in a soft launch back in April, with 3,315 residents already enrolled in the program.

Homeowners must be eligible for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program to be eligible for UBR.

For more information, visit www.chicago.gov/ubr.

Last week, Mayor Lightfoot announced new healthcare investments in the Auburn Gresham and North Lawndale neighborhoods as part of her Invest South/West initiative.

The investments were for the Healthy Lifestyle Hub in Auburn Gresham and the second is the new North Lawndale Surgical and Ambulatory Care Center at Mt. Sinai Hospital.
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