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Record No: CB 120036    Version: 1 Council Bill No: CB 120036
Type: Ordinance (Ord) Status: Passed
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 4/19/2021
Ordinance No: Ord 126318
Title: AN ORDINANCE relating to Seattle Public Utilities' Emergency Assistance Program; temporarily expanding access to assistance; and amending Section 21.76.065 of the Seattle Municipal Code.
Sponsors: Alex Pedersen
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. Central Staff Memo, 3. Signed Ordinance 126318, 4. Affidavit of Publication

CITY OF SEATTLE

ORDINANCE __________________

COUNCIL BILL __________________

title

AN ORDINANCE relating to Seattle Public Utilities’ Emergency Assistance Program; temporarily expanding access to assistance; and amending Section 21.76.065 of the Seattle Municipal Code.

body

WHEREAS, Seattle Municipal Code Section 21.76.065 established Seattle Public Utilities’ low-income emergency assistance program; and

WHEREAS, Seattle Municipal Code Section 21.76.065 provides once-a-year emergency bill payment assistance for low-income SPU customers; and

WHEREAS, Seattle Municipal Code Section 21.76.065 provides twice-a-year emergency bill payment assistance for low-income SPU customers who have minor children in the household; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic fallout have created widespread financial hardship across the community, increased utility account delinquencies, and growing debt and arrears for customers; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE CITY OF SEATTLE AS FOLLOWS:

Section 1. Section 21.76.065 of the Seattle Municipal Code, last amended by Ordinance 125959, is amended as follows:

21.76.065 Low income emergency assistance program((.))

A. Qualification. Upon satisfactory proof, emergency assistance shall be issued to each household for which a member of the household is billed, by Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), for water, wastewater, or solid waste services and((: 1. Has)) has annual income that, when combined with the annual income of all household members, does not exceed 80 percent of the Washington State median income for the number of individuals in the household as computed annually by the state or the City((; and)) .

B. Application. Applicants shall provide the information required by the Human Services Department or SPU, on forms and in the manner determined by the Human Services Department or SPU.

C. Emergency credit. Customers with SPU residential accounts, metered for a single-family residence, and determined by the Human Services Department or SPU to be eligible under subsection 21.76.065.A, shall receive an emergency credit of 100 percent of the customer’s delinquent bills up to a maximum credit defined in subsection 21.76.065.D, but may only receive such credit once each calendar year unless a minor child lives with the customer. When a minor child lives in the household, the customer may receive an emergency credit twice each calendar year.

D. Maximum credit defined. In 2006, the maximum credit shall be $200. In 2007 and subsequent years, the maximum amount from 2006 shall be adjusted annually by SPU to reflect the average growth in combined water, sewer, and solid waste bills for residential customers.

E. SPU may, at its discretion, require a payment plan for the unpaid balance as a condition of receiving emergency assistance under this program.

F. Temporary COVID-19 assistance. Between the effective date of this ordinance and December 31, 2021, households qualifying under subsection 21.76.065.A who do not have minor children in the household may receive a second emergency assistance credit within the same calendar year, notwithstanding anything in subsection 21.76.065.C.

 

Section 2. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days after its approval by the Mayor, but if not approved and returned by the Mayor within ten days after presentation, it shall take effect as provided by Seattle Municipal Code Section 1.04.020.

Passed by the City Council the ________ day of _________________________, 2021, and signed by me in open session in authentication of its passage this _____ day of _________________________, 2021.

____________________________________

President ____________ of the City Council

Approved / returned unsigned / vetoed this ________ day of _________________, 2021.

____________________________________

Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor

Filed by me this ________ day of _________________________, 2021.

____________________________________

Monica Martinez Simmons, City Clerk

(Seal)