Toledo Public Utilities Implements Bill-Paying Assistance Program for Low-Income Consumers in Partnership with Toledo LISC and ProMedica Ebeid Financial Opportunity Center

 

Toledo Public Utilities today announced the process for low-income water consumers experiencing financial hardship to access Toledo’s new utility bill-paying assistance program. The process will also provide low-income residents opportunities to improve their financial stability.

The city of Toledo will allocate $500,000 annually to fund past due water, sanitary, and storm sewer utility bills for low-income consumers qualified for the program by ProMedica Ebeid Institute’s Financial Opportunity Center(ProMedica Ebeid FOC). “Partnering with community agencies is part of our overall affordability strategy to strengthen household resiliency,” said Ed Moore, Toledo public utilities director.

Professionals at ProMedica Ebeid FOC, 1806 Madison Ave., will interview applicants to determine program eligibility based on established criteria. “In addition to connecting low-income consumers to utility payment assistance, we see this as an opportunity to introduce them to a broader network of support to improve their financial health,” said Michelle Gorsuch, ProMedica Ebeid FOC manager. “Participants will be offered financial coaching and budget assistance in addition to bill payment assistance.”

ProMedica Ebeid FOC is part of the Local Initiative Support Corporation’s (LISC) Financial Opportunity Center Network.

“Financial opportunity centers add value to Toledo’s bill-paying assistance program by providing low-income consumers connections to additional resources during their interaction,” said Valerie Moffitt, director of financial opportunities for Toledo LISC. “The FOC relationship also allows the bill-paying program to expand to additional sites, if needed.”

Eligibility Criteria

  • Assistance provided to consumers at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, based on income and size of household; hardship is also considered.
  • Toledo Public Utilities bill-paying assistance is for the primary residence of qualifying consumers.
  • Account must be past due or in disconnection status. (Actual disconnection is not required; consumers disconnected within the past month may be eligible.)
  • Low-income renters who pay the utility bills can be considered through completing and submitting the Landlord Tenant Agent Authorization Form available online at toledo.oh.gov/water or from the Toledo Customer Service Walk-In Center, 420 Madison Ave.
  • Toledo Public Utilities bill-paying assistance may be used to pay water, sanitary and storm sewer charges. (Toledo Public Utilities bill-paying assistance funds cannot be used to pay refuse fees.)
  • Assistance provided among community agencies must be adequate to maintain service.
  • Client may be required to make some portion of the payment to maintain water service.
  • Balances must be for the same account holder at the same address. No funds can be used for balances transferred to the property.

How to Apply

  • Check to see if your total household income is at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • If so, contact Toledo Public Utilities Customer Service by email at dpucustomerservice@toledo.oh.gov, by phone at 419-245-1800, or in person at the Customer Service Walk-In Center to state an interest in the bill-paying assistance program.
  • If not, and you would like help to better manage your finances, please contact ProMedica Ebeid FOC at 567-585-0059 to schedule a confidential appointment with a coach.
  • Contact numbers for consumers who generally meet the guidelines will be provided to ProMedica Ebeid FOC, which will follow up by making calls to schedule appointments with applicants.
  • ProMedica will advise residents of documentation needed for the interview.
  • The Landlord Tenant Agent Authority Form must be in effect for Toledo Public Utilities bill-paying assistance to be considered for low-income renters. The form is available on the city website and at the Customer Service Walk-In Center.