Iowa City May Cover Laid-Off Residents’ Water Bills
Iowa City is reportedly considering temporary relief from water bills for laid-off residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.
KWWL reports that three community organizations: Johnson County Affordable Housing Commission, the Center for Worker's Justice of Eastern Iowa and the Iowa City Federation of Labor have submitted a letter to the city making the request, and City Manager Geoff Fruin indicates they're looking into it. He plans to assess the city's finances and present a proposal at next week's council meeting.
The average monthly water bill in Iowa City is reportedly around $100. Of the 27,232 billed users in Iowa City, Fruin estimates 6,000 of them are currently unemployed as a result of Coronavirus cuts.
City council member Mazahir Salih pointed to a $5 million emergency reserve fund the city has that could cover the forgiven bills starting immediately. One hurdle is figuring out how to determine proof that a resident is unemployed as a direct result of COVID-19. The letter from the aforementioned organizations suggests a receipt from unemployment benefit filings or a letter from a former boss.
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