New Orleans offering to pay past due utility bills for eligible customers

Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 12:21 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - People in New Orleans at risk of having their power or water shut off over delinquent bills can apply for financial assistance from the city.

On Wed., Aug. 3, hundreds waited in lines at Joe Brown Park with past due payments looking for help.

Many say their bills have become unaffordable.

“I’ve been here since 5 a.m. trying to be in the front so my Entergy bill won’t get cut off,” Terrie Henderson said. “I’ve been paying $500 a month.”

Henderson says she has past due payments totaling in the thousands of dollars.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development is offering financial help for Entergy and Sewerage and Water Board customers from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday.

Officials ask you to bring a valid ID, social security card, proof of address, proof of income, and a past due bill.

Residents are encouraged to complete an online application prior to the event.

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High summer temperatures have some legitimately concerned.

“I only get one check a month and my bill is excruciatingly high,” Juanita Acnin says. “I either have the choice to be out here and put up with the chaos or pass out in my house.”

Those who qualify for the city’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program will have their payments sent directly to the utility providers.

“It’s been really hard for me because my air conditioning has been out for like two weeks,” Acnin says. “I’ve been in the heat for a while.”

“I emptied out my bank account just to pay my Entergy bill so I’m stressed out right now,” Henderson says.

Recently, Entergy New Orleans implemented a moratorium on customer shut-offs due to unpaid bills through Nov. 1.

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