North Carolina county to help people with utility bills

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials in a North Carolina county have set aside money to help families who are late in paying their utility bills due to COVID-19.

Wake County will give up to $500 per household to help residents pay their overdue bill, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Monday.

County officials said the $5 million, which comes from the federal Coronavirus Air Relief and Economic Security Act, should help nearly 10,000 families.

Applicants must have “suffered financially from COVID-19,” be Wake County residents and be able to submit their unpaid utility bills. They also must meet federal income limits. For example, $39,540 for one person and $56,460 for a family of four.

“No one should have to go without water at a time when handwashing is so critically important, and no one should have to go without air conditioning when the heat index is in the triple digits,” said Greg Ford, chair of the Wake County Board of Commissioners.