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Monday, December 7, 2020

Help Available for Those Struggling to Pay Utility Bills This Winter

A view of Northern Kentucky at night. How many in our community impacted by COVID-19 struggle to keep the lights on and their homes warm? (photo: Josue Goge/creative commons)


by Robin Gee

The winter weather is upon us. Every winter some families in our community face bills for heating and other utilities they are unable to pay. This year, with many out of work due to COVID, the need is even greater.

Those who are struggling as a direct result of COVID-19 can find some relief for utility bills in the "Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund," an effort made available through a partnership between the commonwealth of Kentucky and the Kentucky Community Action Network.

Set up at the beginning of October, Governor Andy Beshear recently announced there is about $11 million remaining in the fund, and he urged families affected by the pandemic to apply for help paying for water, wastewater, electric or natural gas service.

"Eligible households can receive a one-time $500 benefit towards their water and/or wastewater bills and $400 towards their natural gas or utility bills," Beshear said.

Similar assistance has been available in prior years, but due to the pandemic, eligibility has been increased to 200 percent of the federal poverty line if economically impacted by COVID-19.

Roofing, siding, gutters, painting. 859-393-5264.

Those applying will need to provide:

  • Most current heating bill, statement from your landlord if heating expenses are included in your rent, or a statement from utility company if you participate in a Pre-Pay Electric Program.
  • Proof of Social Security Number or Permanent Residence card (Green Card) for each member of the household.
  • Proof of all household’s (all members) income from the preceding month.
  • The account number and name on the account for main heating fuel sources and electric bill.

To apply, families in our area should contact the Campbell County office of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, located at 437 West 9th Street in Newport. The phone number is 859-431-4177.

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