New Utility Bill Assistance Program for Renters and Landlords
(May 17, 2021) The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU) is raising awareness about a new assistance program for renters who have fallen behind on their water and sewer utility bills due to the negative impact of Covid-19. The Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program(IERA), through the Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority (IHCDA), will pay past due utility bills, up to 12 months past due, incurred after April 1, 2020 for qualifying renters.
The program was launched statewide in March 2021. In April, EWSU Customer Service Representatives began contacting customers with delinquent accounts who have signed up for payment arrangements to notify them of the new assistance program.
When a renter applies for assistance their utility account is placed on hold for 60 days and EWSU will not charge late fees or shutoff service while the application is pending. However, customers are encouraged to continue making payments on new bills. Landlords may apply for rental assistance on behalf of a tenant or encourage the tenant to apply. Landlords may not evict tenants while the application is being processed.
Qualifying renters may receive up to $2,000 in assistance per household. The assistance may be applied to water, sewer and trash bills, as well as gas and electric bills. Any unpaid deposits, disconnect fees or reconnect fees are the responsibility of the renter. The assistance cannot be used for utilities included in the tenant’s rental lease agreement. Renters may qualify for an additional one-time benefit of $750 once they have received the maximum benefit from the Indiana Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
Interested renters and landlords should go to IndianaHousingNow.org to create an account and submit an online application. Applicants will receive a request for additional documentation at the email address provided. Information is also available on our website ewsu.com. Click Assistance for Tenants or Assistance for Landlords.
Applicants without email may dial 2-1-1 to apply for assistance in English or Spanish through Indiana 211, a free and confidential service that helps Hoosiers find resources.