Mayor Lightfoot unveils new program to cut utility costs for low-income homeowners

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CHICAGO — Chicago homeowners who are struggling to pay their utility bills may qualify for some relief from the city.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot unveiled Friday a new Utility Billing Relief program that will provide low-income residents with a reduced rate on their water, sewer, and water-sewer taxes, as well as debt relief for those who demonstrate they can manage the reduced rate bills for one year. It will also work to prevent water shutoffs for homeowners due to their inability to pay.

"For far too long, too many residents have been forced to choose between paying for their water bill or other fundamental necessities,” said Lightfoot. “This program protects our residents, ensures access to basic human needs and builds on our commitment to reform our government toward ending systems that are punitive for those who can least afford it.”

Chicagoans can start applying for the Utility Billing Relief program in March 2020.

The new initiative sets up 12-month cost reduction plans for eligible low-income homeowners and owners of two flats. Residents who qualify will have the opportunity to save 50 percent on water, sewer and water-sewer taxes moving forward. It’s estimated that these changes could lower the average homeowner’s metered bill from $53 to $33 a month.

For more information please visit www.chicago.gov/UBR, text WATERBILL to 313131 or call (312) 795-8946 and leave your name and number.

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