The City of New Orleans has started providing outstanding utility payments for applicants in its Emergency Rental Assistance Program using funds provided by the U. S. Department of the Treasury.
The City is utilizing a portion of the $23 million reallocated from the State to make payments on the accounts of as many as 14,000 rental assistance applicants.
“It is never acceptable to allow people to go without utility services necessary for healthy environments, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic when resources are available to assist them,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “We will continue to leverage dollars received from our state and federal partners to meet our people where they are, and I am thankful for the reallocation of funds from the State as they have recognized the overwhelming need and the City’s ability to get the funds out the door to the households most in need.”
The City of New Orleans began discussions with Entergy New Orleans on clearing outstanding accounts before Hurricane Ida. Following the post-Ida response and recovery, and in addition to the looming end of the utility disconnect moratorium, the City is now able to resume those discussions with Entergy executives.
“We are still working with Entergy to finalize the terms of the payments,” said Marjorianna Willman, durector of the Mayor’s Office of Housing Policy and Community Development. “All parties understand the importance of reaching this agreement, and that utility disconnection can lead to homelessness and evictions.”
Entergy New Orleans has also placed a hold disconnections on the accounts of current rental assistance applicants.
“Given the unprecedented level of funding the Cantrell administration has secured for utility bill assistance, it is reasonable to ask Entergy New Orleans to suspend disconnections while those funds are being allocated,” said Jonathan Rhodes, director of the Mayor’s Office of Utilities. “To receive this utility assistance customers must apply for approval through the City’s assistance program. All other customers should continue to make payments to avoid potential disconnection.”
For more information or to inquire about the status of individual accounts, contact Entergy’s Customer Service Department at 1(800) 368-3749 or via website at www.entergy-neworleans.com.