We know it’s getting tougher for customers to make ends meet as the pandemic lingers and individuals' financial circumstances remain difficult. We continue to offer programs that help customers during the pandemic - from various payment plans to deferrals and cancellations of fees – and seek new programs to offer relief to the mounting number of customers unable to pay their bills.
The assistance programs offered by Santa Margarita includes all the legal options available to them, but we continue to seek additional alternative offerings. Most recently, we requested that the County of Orange apply for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program. The $25 billion program assists households that are unable to pay rent and utility bills due to the pandemic. As a Special District, Santa Margarita Water is unable to apply directly for the Federal funds, but the County is an eligible unit of local government and could then provide us and our customers with grant funding. We will keep you informed on this and other assistance programs as they develop.
The County of Orange launched its $65 million Emergency Rental Assistance program on February 1, 2021, and will accept applications through the month of February from eligible renter households with unpaid rent or utility bills due to the impact of COVID-19. Learn more about the program by visiting 211oc.org.