RECOVERY PLAN FOR UTILITY CUSTOMERS APPROVED!
The Louisiana Public Serivce Commission (LPSC) finally made a decision regarding lifting the utility disconnect prohibition for LPSC jurisdictional customers.
__Here’s what you need to know:
The disconnect prohibition will officially be lifted on July 16, 2020. In Louisiana the utility must give customers 5 days notice ahead of a disconnection.
Utilities are required to work with you to provide payment plans, for up to 12 months, or levelized billing options.
Utilities cannot charge late fees or interest on unpaid balances accrued while the disconnection prohibition was in place. They also are prohibited from negative credit reporting on your behalf.
This only applies to LPSC jurisdictional customers. If your light bill comes from Entergy New Orleans, or your municipality (i.e Lafayette Utilities System), this decision does not apply to you.__
What do you need to do next? Click HERE to find out!
NOLA GETS ANOTHER MONTH TO PAY THE LIGHT BILL!
The New Orleans City Council has extended the prohibition on utility disconnects due to non-payment until August 1, 2020.
This means struggling New Orleanians have another month to access LIHEAP benefits, access the City Council Cares program, and/or get back on their feet financially.
Click to HERE for more information.
KEEP LOUISIANA PROPERTIES INSURED
COVID-19 + HURRICANE SEASON = THE PERFECT HOUSING STORM
For Louisiana to be resilient this hurricane season, we need to ensure our properties maintain the necessary insurance coverages to protect our communities from the possibility of disaster.
HousingLOUISIANA, a statewide alliance of housing practitioners and advocates, is urging state and local leaders to allocate old Road Home funds to cover homeowner’s insurance premiums and CARES Act funding for rental assistance for landlords to maintain their insurance policies.
- Congress should allow for Road Home funds to be reprogrammed and provide support to cover homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
- CARES Act funds and other federal dollars should be used to implement immediate rental assistance. By implementing rental assistance, we are ensuring that landlords have the necessary funds to pay for property insurance.
There are currently NO PROTECTIONS from insurance policy cancellations. The policy cancellation moratorium enacted by Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon expired on May 12th.
If you do not have insurance now is the time to get it, since it will not be available after a storm and once a named hurricane has been tracked a company cannot issue coverage.
Here is a chart of general coverages from a few popular insurance policies.
Click to check out the NOLA Ready Hurricane Guide
Louisiana CARES Funding for Housing
COVID-19 has only made the affordable housing crisis in our state worse. However, state and local governments will be getting a combined $29.7M in funds through the CARES Act due to the coronavirus, which can be used to create rental assistance programs throughout the state. Before COVID-19, 48% of all renters spent more than 30% of their income on housing costs in the state. Below is a breakdown by income type. Since so many people were unable to work during the pandemic or lost their jobs due to it, Louisianans are finding it even harder to afford their homes. Housing advocates are asking Governor John Bel Edwards to identify funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund, Community Development Block Grants, and Emergency Solutions Grants to provide rental assistance for those unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 through the end of 2020. It is estimated that a range of $250-$500 million will be needed to keep Louisiana renters in their homes through the end of this year.
Renters in Louisiana are more cost-burdened than residents in other states according to a needs assessment done last year. While the median gross rent is fairly low compared to the rest of the country, the rate of rent stress in Louisiana is the fifth highest in the country - only Florida, Puerto Rico, California and Hawaii have higher rates of rent stress. Additionally, there are also homeless and housing insecure community members that still don’t have a safe home to shelter in place. We asked that you work with us to get our elected officials to use CARES funding to create housing programs with caseworkers for those who require social services in addition to creating rental, mortgage, and utility assistance programs. Louisianans need housing relief now!
You can use the link below to tell your elected officials that CARES funding must be used for housing!
Click to LEARN MORE and MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
Our partners at the Alliance for Affordable Energy put together a blog focusing on COVID related utility-consumer protections, as they currently stand, at both the LPSC & NOLA City Council.
Click to read the AAE Blog
Are you in need of mental health help? Looking for food assistance? Are you available to volunteer?
THIS LIST is a great community resource for those answers and much, much more.
Meetings in July
July 8th @ 10am NOLA City Council Smart & Sustainable Cities Committee
__July 8th @ 10am __ Louisiana Housing Corporation Board Meeting
July 8th @ 1pm NOLA City Council Economic Development & Special Development Projects Committee
July 9th @ 10am NOLA City Council Utility, Cable, Telecommunication, and Technology Committee
July 11th Election Day - Geaux Vote
July 15th @ 1pm NOLA City Council Ad Valorem & Dedicated Special Committee
July 15th @ 10am Louisiana Public Service Commission Open Session
July 16th @ 10am NOLA Regular City Council Meeting
July 22nd @ 10am NOLA City Council Public works, Sanitation, & Environment Committee
August 4th @ 10am NOLA City Council Budget/Audit/BoR Committee Meeting
August 4th @ 1pm NOLA City Council Quality of Life Committee Meeting
August 6th @ 10am NOLA Regular City Council Meeting
LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR ENERGY EFFICIENCY FOR ALL COALITION MEMBERS
Alliance for Affordable Energy
Greater New Orleans Housing Alliance
National Housing Trust
Natural Resources Defense Council