Louisiana rental assistance expanding to include utilities

Louisiana

FILE: $100 bills. (NEXSTAR)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Louisiana is adding utility payment assistance to a state-run, federally funded program established to help renters and landlords affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the governor’s office announced Friday.

People facing financial problems because of the pandemic will be able to apply for help to pay for electricity, gas, fuel oil, water, sewerage and trash services through the state’s rental assistance program.

The program covers most of the state. However, seven parishes — Caddo, Calcasieu, East Baton Rouge, Jefferson, Lafayette, Orleans and St. Tammany — have their own locally administered rental assistance programs. Availability and administration of utility assistance varies in those parishes.

The governor’s news release says that, as of May 6, more than 13,000 renters have begun applications for the state-administered rental assistance program. And, $2.6 million in rental assistance has been approved.

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