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Richmond residents sign up for utility relief program: 'It’s a God gift from heaven'

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Posted at 12:13 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 12:37:55-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Richmond Department of Public Utilities is offering utility relief for those who fell on hardship due to COVID-19. DPU representatives were on site at The Market on N. 25th St. Friday to hand out and accept applications.

People lined up to fill out their applications, which took just a few minutes to complete.

For those who are eligible, The COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program offers to cover utility balances from March 1 to December 30, 2020.

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It's a one-time opportunity offering one payment per household or business and is available on a first come first serve basis with funding limited.

To be eligible, you must be a City of Richmond Public Utilities Customer, have experienced economic hardship due to COVID-19, and you also must not have received any other forms of relief or financial assistance for your city utility services.

Karen Waller stopped by The Market Friday to fill out an application. She called the program a Godsend.

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"I lost my job, then I got sick, got behind on my bills -- not able to pay anything -- and it was tough on me trying to catch up," said Waller. "I've been homeless staying the motels... It’s a God gift from heaven just to have somebody care about us. It’s really good."

Those who qualify can pick up an application at City Hall, The Southside Community Center, The East District Center, or request an application via email to DPUCares@richmondgov.com or by calling 804-646-4646. The program is accepting applications through January 17.

Organizers said once your application is accepted, you’ll see those funds applied on your February statement.

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