Courtesy Tacoma Public Utilities via Facebook

Tacoma Public Utilities has announced that it is expanding its relief program to further help residential customers struggling with financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the Emergency Assistance Program launched March 17 with $1 million in funding, nearly 10,000 TPU residential customers have applied for the funds. Given the strong response, total funding has now been increased to $2.4 million.

How it works: The Emergency Assistance Program provides a one-time utility credit for eligible single-family households whose incomes are within 200 percent of federal poverty guidelines. The amount of assistance is based on the number of services billed by TPU. Most of the funds for the program were previously budgeted for the utility’s existing Bill Credit Assistance Program; however, the eligibility guidelines have been expanded to support significantly more households during Tacoma’s state of emergency. Utility credits from the Emergency Assistance Fund are one time only per household, so customers who have already received a credit are not eligible for an additional credit.

In addition to the relief program, TPU is offering payment assistance and arrangements, extended payment plans, suspended disconnects, and waiver of late fees for residential and business customers. For more information, visit this website.