The Lansing Board of Water & Light (BWL) and more than a dozen nonprofit organizations and community partners will host two Pandemic Resource Fairs in March to help connect BWL residential customers and greater Lansing residents behind on their bills to information on community resources and financial assistance available to assist per available funding and eligibility.
“The last thing we ever want to do is shut off water or power to a customer who is struggling,” said BWL General Manager Dick Peffley. “So while our shut-off process will soon be resuming now that winter is almost over, we have set up these resource fairs to connect as many people as possible to the assistance they need so that they can avoid losing their service.”
The events are similar to the fairs the BWL held last fall, which helped BWL around 1,000 customers catch up on more than $500,000 in past due utility bills. The fairs are free and open to the public with no pre-registration necessary. Masks will be required.
The Financial Pandemic Relief Fairs will be held:
- Wednesday, March 9, 1-5 pm at Gier Community Center, 2400 Hall St., Lansing
- Tuesday, March 15, 4-8 pm at Letts Community Center, 1220 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing
“The pandemic has been extremely challenging for our community and people are still recovering from the economic hardships it caused,” said Lansing Mayor Andy Schor. “We saw hundreds of people attend these fairs last fall, and I am thankful that so many community organizations are joining the BWL to offer a one-stop-shop for residents to learn about the resources available. I encourage anyone in need of help paying their bills for housing, utilities, financial education, and more to join us at these fairs.”
A full list of community partners include:
- Lansing Board of Water & Light
- Capital Area United Way
- Capital Area Community Services
- Tri-county Office on Aging
- City of Lansing's Neighborhoods and Citizens Engagement
- City of Lansing Financial Empowerment/Cristo Rey
- Greater Lansing Food Bank
- Capital Area Housing Partnerships
- Advent House
- St. Vincent De Paul
- Disability Network Capital Area
- The Salvation Army Lansing Capital Area
- Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA)
- Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) Ingham County
- Capital Area District Libraries
- Impression 5 Science Center
BWL electric utility shut-offs due to non-pay will resume on April 15, 2022.
Until the pandemic, an average month of past due balances at BWL was around $1 million, and that’s since grown to around $7 million during COVID.
For more information about the Pandemic Resource Fairs and what assistance is available, visit www.lbwl.com/shutoffprotection.