LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The deadline for low-income Angelenos to apply for assistance with paying utility bills in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has been extended to Nov. 22, Council President Nury Martinez’s office announced Thursday.

The Los Angeles City Council voted earlier this month to use $50 million of COVID-19 relief funds to help residents struggling to pay their L.A. Department of Water and Power bills.

“Our low-wage workers continue to suffer in silence,” Martinez, who authored the motion to create the program, said earlier this month. “They are the first to put themselves and their families at risk through their essential work. I am unapologetically dedicated during this pandemic to help them get whatever resources they need to hang on and stay in their homes.”

The COVID-19 Utility Grant Program, operated in partnership with DWP, will distribute the funds via lottery system — though residents already enrolled in DWP’s low-income assistance program will be prioritized.

The program is expected to serve up to 100,000 households, Martinez said, with residents making 50% of the area’s median income or less eligible to receive $500 to assist with utility costs — including gas, cell phone and internet/cable services.

“Our low-income communities have demonstrated tremendous resilience and strength during this national public health emergency,” Councilman Curren Price said earlier this month. “COVID-19 has hit the working poor and people of color the hardest, and it is up to their government to put forward a range of solutions that mitigate the challenges of this remarkable time in human history.”

Those interested can learn more about the program and apply online.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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