South Bend now offers assistance to low-income utility customers

South Bend is launching an assistance program for low-income utility customers to reduce the cost of water and sewage bills.

According to the city, the low-income Customer Assistance Program “provides a credit for sewer service on the monthly bill of qualifying residential utility customers.”

South Bend is partnering with REAL Services utilizing the same criteria already used for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). That program provides assistance for electric and heating expenses during the winter months.

Interested customers must first apply for LIHEAP through REAL Services. The application deadline is May 15, 2021. Customers who qualify for LIHEAP will be automatically enrolled in the city’s Customer Assistance Program. The credit will be reflected on their next bill.

The city estimates that qualifying customers could see a reduction in their bill from $10 to $19 every month for a year. Applicants must have a utility account in their name and receive sewer service from the city of South Bend.

“The Customer Assistance Program is a good step to help our residents in need make ends meet, especially during these difficult economic times,” said Mayor James Mueller. “I will look to work with Councilmembers and the city team to build on this critical program going forward.”

The low-income Customer Assistance Program is funded through ratepayers. Every residential sewer customer is charged an additional $1.75 per month to provide a credit for qualifying low-income residential sewer customers. This fee is reflected in the monthly sewer charge for every residential account who receives sewer service from the City.

To see if you qualify, call 574-232-6501.

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