PINEVILLE, La. – June 8, 2021 – Cleco Power customers who meet the eligibility requirements for the U.S. Treasury Emergency Rental Assistance Program being administered by the State of Louisiana can receive assistance paying past-due and current utility bills and some late fees dating back as far as April 1, 2020.
The program was implemented in March of this year to aid renters and landlords experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In May, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the program was being expanded to include utility bills in an effort to help residents who are not only struggling to pay rent but also struggling to pay utilities, including electricity, gas, fuel oil, water and sewer and trash removal. “We want our customers to be aware of this new funding should they need assistance and want to apply,” said Andre Guillory, director of metering, billing and revenue collection.
“We remain committed to helping our customers throughout this pandemic and sharing this information is part of that commitment.” For program information or to apply, visit LAStateRent.com or call 877-459-6555, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Both renters and landlords are eligible to apply for assistance. In most cases, rental assistance will be paid directly to the landlord and utility assistance will be paid directly to the utility provider.
Priority is given to households where at least one family member has been unemployed for more than 90 days due to COVID-19 and to households earning less than 50 percent of the area median income, as required by the law. The federally funded program is part of the 2021 Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and includes $25 billion for emergency rental assistance, of which $161 million has been allocated to Louisiana to provide assistance in 57 parishes. The other seven parishes chose to apply for and receive direct allocations from the U.S. Treasury and are administering their own program.
Residents in Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes must apply directly with the governing authority in their parish. Please note that eligibility, benefits and the application process may be different from the state program. Information on who to contact in these seven parishes is available at LAStateRent.com.