With leadership from the Financial Justice Project (FJP), the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is working with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to design, implement and evaluate a pilot project to address water affordability and utility-related debt in San Francisco.
With leadership from the Financial Justice Project (FJP), the Office of Financial Empowerment (OFE) is working with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to address water affordability and utility debt.
Problem: With the high cost of living in San Francisco, many residents are burdened with high utility bills and struggle to pay those bills. Each month many residents are unable to pay their water and sewer bill leading in the short-term to fees and debt owed, shut-offs and and in the long-term potentially even displacement from their home and community. COVID-19 has exacerbated this concern as more and more residents experience financial hardship and are unable to afford the cost of water and sewer bills.
Innovation: To address the high prevalence of families experiencing utility-related debt and water shut-offs in southeastern San Francisco, FJP and OFE will design and implement an intervention that addresses water affordability and debt forgiveness while simultaneously supporting PUC’s financial sustainability.