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In Danville, nearly $1 million spent so far to provide help with utility bills, rent

In Danville, nearly $1 million spent so far to provide help with utility bills, rent

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Danville has provided about $500,000 from the American Rescue Plan to help residents — and a few businesses — affected by the COVID-19 pandemic pay their utility bills.

Also, more than $500,000 from federal Housing and Urban Development funds have helped city residents cover their rent.

The city received $15 million in rescue plan money in May and will get another $15 million in May 2022. All the money must be spent by the end of 2024.

The moratorium on utility disconnections for delinquent accounts ended Sept. 1, with disconnections resuming Sept. 2.

Michael Adkins

Michael Adkins

The city’s notification of the moratorium’s upcoming end earlier in the summer prompted residents to apply for the assistance, said Danville Finance Director Michael Adkins.

“We had quite a few people come in in July and August,” Adkins said. “As disconnections have started, we’ve had a pretty steady flow.”

Nearly 1,000 households — 981 — have been provided with utility assistance, Adkins said. About two-thirds of those sought assistance when the resumption of disconnections was announced, he said.

“August was pretty busy with applications,” Adkins said.

Residents seeking help with utility bills apply with Danville Social Services. Utilities assistance covers 50% of the customer’s delinquent balance, Adkins said.

The city’s delinquent account timeline collection works like this: if a customer’s bill is due June 15, a late payment fee of 1.5% is added to their account if the bill is still not paid on June 16.

On June 20, the first late payment notice is mailed to the customer. Ten days later on June 30, that customer will receive the next monthly utility bills with the past due balance from the previous bill.

On July 15, a second late payment notice is mailed with instructions to pay immediately to avoid a $50 delinquent account fee and disconnection.

Six days later on July 21, the $50 fee is applied to the account and the first bill is 35 days past due. Electric service is disconnected the next day.

Other utilities — gas and water — are disconnected eight days later on July 30.

On Aug. 29, the customer is moved out of the account, their deposit is applied to their balance and the final bill is mailed to the customer.

The account is turned over to a collection agency on Nov. 12, if the bill is still not paid.

As for the remainder of the overall $30 million expected from the American Rescue Plan, that money will be spent on neighborhood preservation and affordable housing, economic development and enhancements to House of Hope homeless shelter.

The city anticipates another infusion of federal money administered through the state in November. The expected amount is unknown, Adkins said.

Those wishing to apply for help can call the Danville Department of Social Services at 434-799-6540.

Ken Gillie


As for rental assistance, the city has spent $534,547 in HUD money to help residents behind on their rent due to COVID-19, said Danville Community Development Director Ken Gillie. So far, 1,119 people have received help covering rent since March 2020, he said.

The statewide moratorium on evictions was lifted Sept. 1.

The city received $694,077 in HUD money for rental assistance, and has about $159,500 left, Gillie said. The money must be spent by the end of 2022, he said.

Gillie’s office works with the courts, which informs the city when someone has started an eviction process, along with landlords and tenants.

“We’d reach out to the landlord and the tenant and notify them that the funds were available,” Gillie said.

He said he expects more money for rental assistance in the future.

“We do feel the program has been successful,” Gillie said. “We’ll probably receive more funding.”


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