Charlotte Water Delinquent Accounts Fall by 13-Thousand, Returning to Pre-COVID Status
The Utility credits success to partnerships with community partners and available financial aid programs
(Charlotte, NC) Charlotte Water, in partnership with Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Housing and Neighborhood Services, and local non-profits community groups such as DreamKey Partners, Crisis Assistance Ministries and Commonwealth Charlotte, have matched thousands of customers whose accounts were in danger of disconnection with financial aid assistance. As of March 18, 2022, residential customer accounts with outstanding balances have dropped to 2,476 from an estimated 16,200 outstanding accounts in October 2021. This successful return to pre-COVID operations highlights Charlotte Water’s commitment to connecting families to available financial assistance to help them with their water bills.
“We understand the financial hardships many face as this pandemic continues to impact all of us two years later,” says Charlotte Water Director Angela Charles. “Charlotte Water continues to look for every possible avenue to help our customers and get them connected to the resources they need.”
North Carolina has been recognized nationally for its success in using the federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help families. North Carolina distributed nearly $7 million in federal funds to residents needing assistance. Of that $7 million, Charlotte Water and Mecklenburg County DSS has allocated more than $1.3 million to CLTWTR customers, approximately 19% of all LIHWAP funds distributed statewide.
On March 13, 2020, Charlotte Water removed late fees on water bills, and customer shutoffs for non-payment were discontinued. As financial aid programs, CARES Act funding and City grants became available, Charlotte Water allowed accounts to fall back into delinquent status so customers could qualify for available assistance programs. Beginning 2021, Charlotte Water campaigned to inform customers that normal billing operations would resume in October 2021.
Charlotte Water also created the Customer Care Team, a group of trained customer service professionals dedicated to working one-on-one with customers, connecting them with community assistance agencies, and working with customers to address and resolve past due balances. Customers who do not qualify for financial aid can resolve their accounts through payment arrangements. To learn more about available pandemic utility relief, visit charlottewater.org or call 3-1-1 to speak to a member of the Charlotte Water Care Team.