Financial Assistance Is Available In Northern Arizona:
Customers Should Plan For Payments
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (June 24, 2020): Although, moratoriums on evictions and utility shutoffs have provided protection for individuals impacted by COVID as well as low-income residents and customers, balances for both are accruing and will come due when the grace periods end.
Wildfire Executive Director Cynthia Zwick urges those who have benefitted from the relief to start developing payment plans now by using available resources that include financial support available for rent and mortgage relief and utility bill assistance.
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s Order delaying evictions will expire on July 22 and the moratorium on some utility shutoffs will remain in place until Oct. 15.
“The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and Arizona’s climbing summer heat have put us in unchartered territory,” Zwick said. “We’re very concerned that individuals who have benefitted from the relief programs may not be looking ahead to when the bills come due and if they don’t begin addressing that now, they may be in for a shock when they see how high the balances have grown. Unfortunately, if they don’t act now, they may be facing utility shutoffs, evictions and potential homelessness.”
Zwick said that utility companies throughout the state offer bill-assistance guidance and funding and that Community Action Agencies statewide have funding available through LIHEAP, the federally funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
Patricia Sprengeler, Program Manager at Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG) encouraged residents and consumers to find out if they are eligible and to seek assistance because funds are available now.
The Wildfire website (www.wildfireaz.org) provides a tool (http://www.arizonaselfhelp.org) to determine if an individual is eligible and also offers county-by-county listings of supporting agencies and organizations by clicking on the “Find Help” drop-down at the top of the Wildfire landing page.
Utility companies in communities statewide should be contacted directly for information about bill assistance. Here is a list of contacts:
APS: 602-371-7171 (800-253-9405)
Unisource Energy Services: (877) 837-4968
Northern Arizona Council of Governments (NACOG)
Patricia Sprengeler, Program Manager
Flagstaff: Phone: 928-774-1895
Concho: Phone: 928-337-5047
Pinetop: Phone: 928-358-3051
Springerville: Phone: 928-333-2516, Ext. 227
Winslow: Phone: 928-587-7069
Cottonwood: Phone: 928-300-0894
Prescott Valley: Phone: 928-308-2988
Navopache Electric Cooperative, Inc., Pinetop-Lakeside
Website: www.navopache.orgPhone: 800-543-6324
Sulphur Springs Electric Cooperative, Inc.
Website: www.ssvec.orgPhone: 520-384-2221
About Wildfire: Wildfire is a growing movement to end poverty. We advocate for fair practices. We collaborate on policy issues. We support community action initiatives. Beyond easing the effects of poverty, our efforts aim to ignite lasting change: to stop poverty before it starts. This is advocacy in action for an Arizona where all may thrive. For more information visit wildfireaz.org.
• Cynthia Zwick, Executive Director, Wildfire, (602) 604-0640
• Steve Carr, The Kur Carr Group, Inc., (602) 317-3040