New State program has been established to help those impacted by COVID-19 and have past-due Water.
The City received over $366,000 from a new state program offering financial assistance for California water customers for past-due debts incurred from March 4, 2020 to June 15, 2021. Over 1,700 eligible Santa Paula water customers received a credit on April 7 to help those who have been economically impacted during the pandemic and have fallen behind on their water bills.
This funding was provided through the CWWAPP with funding from the California State Water Resources Control Board using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. The specific state funded programs consist of the below and correlate to the type of utility services received:
Program Administered by:
Water and Wastewater
To qualify, customers must have incurred past-due water and wastewater bills during the period of March 4, 2020, to June 15, 2021. The program prioritizes the water portion of a customer’s bill; wastewater charges may be covered at a later date if the state has sufficient funding.
As part of the CWWAPP program, the City will not shutoff water service on your account until you default on an established payment plan or you miss the 30-day deadline to enroll in a payment plan. Customers who have an outstanding balance after the CWWAPP credit is applied to your account have been directly notified of payment plan options. Customers who receive assistance through CWWAPP may still be eligible for other state and local assistance programs, such as them Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) — a new program that uses federal funds to help eligible low-income households by providing up to a $1,000 one-time benefit per household and is not limited to the COVID-19 time period. Go to csd.ca.gov for more information.
For additional information contact:
City of Santa Paula Finance Department
Phone: (805) 933-4211
The California Water and Wastewater Arrears Payment Program (CWWAPP) was created to provide financial assistance to community water systems to help customers who incurred past-due water and wastewater bills during the period of March 4, 2020 to June 15, 2021 (the COVID-19 pandemic period) in accordance with the California Health and Safety Code (California Health and Safety Code 116773.4). The program prioritizes the water portion of a customer’s bill; wastewater charges may be covered if the state has sufficient funding. This funding was provided through the CWWAPP with funding from the California State Water Resources Control Board using federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds.
The state recently established the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) that will help pay customers’ electric utility bills that went unpaid during the pandemic, anytime between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021, incurring a past due balance of 60 days or more.
Additionally, the state also established the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP) to help pay customers’ water and wastewater bills that went unpaid between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021. This program prioritizes the water part of your bill; wastewater charges may be covered if the state has sufficient funding.
These programs are not income-based programs, so if you are eligible, we will apply funds directly to your account and notify you by mail if and when we do so. These programs will prioritize assistance per state guidance and are subject to state funding.
No. City staff has reviewed the state guidelines of these programs and determined which customers are eligible. Customers who were eligible were notified and a credit was applied on April 7, 2022.
The amount credited to the account is only the past due amount eligible per the CWWAPP. If you still have a remaining balance after your account has been credited, you may request a payment plan.
CWWAPP does not cover or allow receiving agencies to assess late charges or penalties during the relief period, however the City did not apply late charges or penalties during the relief period.
No, it will not. CWAPP was established specifically to help with economic issues caused by COVID-19. The programs only cover the relief period from March 4, 2020, to June 15, 2021.
While the City has yet to determine a date to resume traditional billing operations and utility service disconnections for non-payment, it is on the horizon.
The California Arrearage Payment Program provides consumer protections. If you’re eligible for the program, a shutoff cannot occur if you have signed up for a payment plan within 30 days and have not defaulted on the payment plan. It is still your responsibility to pay your bill after that in full for bills due before and after the relief period.
Receiving other types of bill assistance does not exclude you from eligibility for CWWAPP benefits. However, you must meet qualifications for each program which are also subject to state funding received.
Yes, the CWWAPP programs covered both active and inactive accounts that had unpaid balances during the relief period.