NEW BRITAIN – Operation Fuel in partnership with The Metropolitan District is encouraging customers with overdue bills and unpaid balances on their water bills to take advantage of emergency financial relief.
“We know that many Connecticut residents need help due to covid-related economic fallout, and we want you to know that help is available from the MDC and our administrative partner, Operation Fuel,” said Scott Jellison, MDC CEO.
“Part of the qualifications for the assistance is having your water shut off, but we’re not doing water shutoffs, number one because of covid and number two we don’t do them in the winter months anyways,” said Nick Salemi, communications administrator for The Metropolitan District. “We’re just trying to let people know there is still money available for the rest of the year for them to apply for.”
Also, to qualify for water utility assistance, customers must have no water utility service, need assistance with making a payment to prevent a shutoff, or have a past due balance of 30 days or more. The maximum grant amount is $500. The grant is designed to help with financial emergencies such as job loss, exhaustion of unemployment benefits or housing or health issues. Applicants must provide payment history and income documentation.
“You have to be within the income which is 75% of state median income for a household of four that equals about $87,000 a year gross annual income. We do ask that folks bring a copy of their utility bill if they’re going to apply in person at one of our intake sites or have it ready when they apply on line,” said Brenda Watson, executive director of Operation Fuel.
No appointment is necessary if you apply online.
“If you or someone you know is struggling with paying your MDC water bill, please reach out,” Watson said. “We’d like folks to contact us or apply by the end of December, end of calendar year.”
“In addition to the MDC setting aside funds for this, our customers, just like with other utilities, can donate as well,” Salemi said.
MDC customers can apply online at www.operationfuel.org/gethelp or to locate an Operation Fuel bank nearby in the Online Fuel Bank Finder. You can also call 2-1-1 to find a fuel bank near you.