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Water bill assistance available

Assistance is available through the CARES Act for Smithfield and Isle of Wight residents who are having trouble paying their water and sewer bills due to the economic effects of COVID-19.

Anyone who receives water or wastewater service from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District and has a balance due resulting from charges incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30, 2020, may apply for assistance. The program runs through Jan. 27.

To qualify, officials said residents must self-certify that they have experienced COVID-related issues that caused an economic hardship, such as a job layoff, loss of wages due to an employer closing or cutting their work hours, staying home to care for children due to daycare or school closures, or being unable to work due to a high risk of illness during the pandemic.

In Smithfield, residents may apply for assistance by completing a form on the town’s website and returning it by email to bhunter@smithfieldva.gov. The form may also be completed by phone by calling 757-365-4200 or in person at 310 Institute St.

Isle of Wight residents may call 757-365-6284 or email avann@isleofwightus.net for more information.

“We are urging qualifying Hampton Roads residents and small business owners to apply for this funding today, not tomorrow,” Edward G. Henifin, HRSD’s general manager, said in an announcement. “The process is quick and easy, but the funds are only available for a limited time.”

HRSD serves about 1.7 million people in 17 jurisdictions in Southeastern Virginia. Application deadlines and requirements for the utility assistance program vary by locality. More information is available at HRUtilityRelief.com.