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UTILITY AND HOUSING ASSISTANCE

Utility Shutoffs Suspended

The Program:
DTE Energy and Consumers Energy announced on March 16 they will suspend electricity and natural gas shutoffs during the coronavirus pandemic.
Eligibility Requirements: Shutoffs due to non-payment are suspended for people with low incomes and senior citizens.

How to Access:
DTE customers impacted by COVID-19 — those with a sudden loss of income or medical condition — as well as vulnerable seniors can call 800-477-4747 to determine eligibility for payment assistance. Consumers customers affected by COVID-19 can call 800-477-5050.
 
Program End Date:
Both companies said their shutoff suspension will last through April 30, and that
timeframe could be adjusted. Customers in either company’s Winter Protection Program already had their end dates extended through May 3, without any additional action required.

More Information: Learn more about the companies’ response plans online: DTE Energy, Consumers Energy
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Statewide Water Service Restoration

The Program:
Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order on March 28 that requires public water suppliers in Michigan to immediately identify residences in their service area that do not currently have water service and to restore service to homes where the service has been disconnected due to non-payment or damaged infrastructure by April 12. A $2 million Water Restart Grant Program has been established
through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) to provide funding to local communities to help reconnect homes to their water supplies.
 
Eligibility Requirements:
Everyone in the state is eligible for water restoration, regardless of past-due
water bills. This program does not eliminate the obligation of a resident to pay for water, prevent a public water supply from charging any customer for water service, or reduce the amount a resident may owe to a public water supply.
 
How to Access:
Contact your water supplier if you need your water service restored.
 
Program End Date:
Public water suppliers must restore water to residences by April 12. The executive order remains in effect as long as Michigan is under a state of emergency related to coronavirus.
 
More Information:
Read the governor’s press release on the water restoration order.
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Keep Americans Connected Initiative (internet and phone service)

The Program:
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked broadband and telephone companies to take the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which says they will:
 
  1.  Not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to
    pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
  2. Waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
  3. Open their Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Eligibility Requirements:
See if your broadband and telephone service provider is among the more than 390 companies and associations who have committed to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge.
 
How to Access:
Contact your service provider if you anticipate trouble paying your bill.
Program End Date: There is no set end date; the pledge is expected to last for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
More Information:
A crowd-sourced list of free and low-cost internet options provides more
information.