The Cities of Lancaster and Palmdale are joining forces to assist residents who are federal government employees during the current federal government shutdown.
“Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer and I are committed to the wellbeing of our residents — and are working together to take care of those in our community who are most affected by the government shutdown,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This is a scary time for many federal employees who already work hard to make ends meet and are now faced with bills to pay and families to feed, and yet no paycheck. Regardless of your political opinion of the shutdown, it’s time for all of us to come together and be responsive to these needs — and help our neighbors and friends through this challenging time.”
To support federal workers in the community who have been furloughed or are working without pay, the cities are implementing assistance programs, as well as listing all known resources available locally and nationally on their main websites. The two cities share a common landing page, https://goo.gl/R8hb2W, which provides links to their respective listings. These listings will be continuously updated as resources evolve.
“Our local residents are experiencing hardships not of their making and it is lasting much longer than anyone expected,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. “The City of Palmdale is committed to working with the City of Lancaster to make sure our affected residents have access to City services and other available resources to help them make it through the impacts of the federal government shutdown.”
Lancaster is deferring fees for Lancaster business licensing and parking citations, as well as recreation program registration fees for federal employees during the shutdown. Additionally, the city’s utility company, Lancaster Choice Energy, will defer federal employee customers’ energy bill payments until 30 days after the shutdown has been lifted. Food assistance is also available via Grace Resources.
Palmdale will also be deferring payment of Palmdale parking citations and recreation program registration fees for federal employees within their jurisdiction. Palmdale’s SAVES food program and the HPRP Rental Assistance Program are additional resources available to Palmdale residents.
Contact information regarding Lancaster and Palmdale specific programs are listed below.
Lancaster residents and business owners:
* Parking/Administrative Citations – City of Lancaster’s Finance Department will work with furlough impacted federal workers who have open citations to defer payments. For additional information, call 661-723-6033.
* Business Licensing Fees – City of Lancaster’s Finance Department will work with impacted Federal workers. For additional information, call 661-723-6033.
* Lancaster Choice Energy – Lancaster Choice Energy will defer payments for impacted Federal Workers. To receive assistance, contact 661-723-6084.
* Recreation Programs – The City will waive fees for classes and sports programs for impacted Federal workers or their family members. Call 661-723-6077.
* Grace Resources – In partnership with the Grace Resources, they will provide nutritious groceries and clothing. To receive assistance, call 661-940-5272.
Palmdale residents and business owners:
– Parking/Administrative Citations: Code Enforcement and the Neighborhood Compliance Division will work with furlough impacted federal workers who have open citations, and are facing financial hardship. On a case by case basis staff will work with qualifying residents with regard to payment plans, deferred payment plans and/or defer any current late fees for citations. Call 661-267-5436.
– Recreation & Culture Programs: The City will waive fees for classes and sports programs for impacted Federal workers or their family members. Call 661-267-5611 or Email email@example.com additional information will be provided.
– South Antelope Valley Emergency Services – (SAVES): In partnership with the LA Regional Food Bank, SAVES will provide nutritious meals and well-balanced bags of groceries Monday through Thursday.To receive assistance, furloughed workers will provide their federal employee ID. Please call 661-267-5191 and request an N1 appointment.
– The Homeless Prevention and Rapid-ReHousing Program (HPRP) program: Provides temporary rental, housing relocation and stabilization assistance to low, very low and extremely low income households who are homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless but for HPRP assistance. The program serves Palmdale residents, including individuals and families. During the shutdown, affected federal workers may apply. The required documentation includes:
– Government issued photo ID for all adults (age 18 and over) in the household.
– Birth certificate OR Social Security card for each minor (under the age of 18) in the household.
– Two months of income statements (e.g. paycheck stubs)
– 2017 income tax return OR a non-filing affidavit
– Two months of financial statements on all open accounts
– Rental Agreement (If relocating, you need a rental agreement for the property you are relocating to. If you are not relocating, you need your current rental agreement.)
– Proof of residency in Palmdale for the last 3 months. (e.g. a mortgage statement or rental agreement that spans this time, a utility bill, or CA driver’s license with a Palmdale address issued more than three months ago.)
– HPRP also provides assistance with utilities —gas, electric, water, sewer, and garbage. Telephones, cell phones, and cable are not eligible. To apply, email or call 661-267-5126.
Other community service providers are contributing to this assistance effort as well, including AVTA, which is offering free bus rides for furloughed federal employees.
“Transportation is key, both for our professional and personal lives, and can comprise a sizable portion of a family’s budget – especially for commuters,” said Marvin Crist, AVTA Board Chair and Lancaster Vice Mayor. “It is our privilege to support our community’s furloughed federal employees by offering our assistance.”
For more information regarding both cities’ efforts, as well as other local, regional, and national resources, from special loan programs to rental assistance, visit https://goo.gl/R8hb2W.
Additional non-city resources for affected federal workers are listed below.
– U.S. Office of Personnel Management: Are you eligible for unemployment? Here is a fact sheet with more information: www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/pay-leave/furlough-guidance/unemployment-compensation-for-federal-employees-fact-sheet-december-2018.pdf
– Logix and Edwards Air Force Base Credit Union are offering loans of up to $5,000, with EdwardsFCU loan having a 2% annual percentage rate for one year. In addition, they are offering rebates of skip-a-payment fees, among many other relief services. Navy Credit Union is offering $6,000 loan at 0% APR, no fees. Navy Credit Union is offering it to ALL federal government employees, including all active duty service members of the Coast Guard who are under the Department of Homeland Security and are furloughed.
- Navy: www.navyfederal.org/about/government-shutdown.php
- Logix: www.logixbanking.com/about-us/shutdown
- EAFB: https://edwardsfcu.org/government-shutdown/
– Wells Fargo will automatically reverse their monthly service or overdraft/non-sufficient fund fees on their deposit account that had a payroll check direct deposited into that account and will automatically reverse and waive late fees on their credit accounts, including consumer and small business credit cards, auto loans, personal lines and loans, student loans, small business loans, home equity and home mortgages. Visit www.wellsfargo.com/help/government-shutdown/.
– Bank of America has set up a priority assistance phone line that clients can contact at 844-219-0690. For personalized assistance, they can also schedule an appointment to meet with a specialist.
– Federal Employees Education & Assistance Fund: FEEA is accepting applications from federal employees who are furloughed or working in excepted status with an annual salary of under $35,000. FEEA is also offering $100 grants to active federal employee members who are experiencing unusual hardship due to not receiving a paycheck during the current shutdown. https://feea.org/shutdowngrant/info/
– Chase Bank is helping furloughed federal employees with loans or outstanding credit card bills. Call 888-356-0023 or visit www.chase.com for help.
– Citibank offers fee and interest adjustments to customers facing hardships and mortgage assistance needs. Visit www.citibank.com.
– Congressional Federal Credit Union: For more information on Relief Line of Credit or any assistance programs, contact Member Service Representatives at 800-491-2328 or stop by a branch. Visit www.congressionalfcu.org/loans/personal-loans/furlough-solutions.
– FedChoice: Please contact your local branch. Visit http://www.fedchoice.org/my-life/furlough-center/.
– Interior Federal Credit Union: Special loans for both member and non-member furloughed Federal workers. Net paycheck up to $15,000, interest free up to 30 days. Members may apply for a limit up to the equivalent of two net paychecks. More offers are available online at www.interiorfcu.org/resources/government-shutdown/ or call 800-914-8619.
– PayPal: PayPal allocated $25 million to fund interest-free cash advances to our furloughed Federal workers that need assistance now. This is for both new and existing PayPal Credit customers. Minimum loan is $250 with a maximum cash advance of $500. Your account does need to be in good standing if you’re an existing PayPal Credit customer. Existing customers can call 877-689-1975. For new accounts, apply here first, and then after approval call 1-877-689-1975. Visit www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-helps?CampaignName=VanityURL-paypalhelps for more information.
– U.S. Bank: U.S. Bank will waive all late fees if you miss a mortgage payment due to the shutdown, and will defer first payment dates for new mortgages. Contact your local branch for additional information. Visit www.usbank.com.
– SunTrust: SunTrust has set-up programs to assist existing clients, please contact your local branch for additional information. www.suntrust.com
– Synchrony Bank: Synchrony Bank is allowing affected customers to defer payments until after the shutdown. Contact Synchrony Bank for more information. Visit www.synchrony.com.
– Union Plus: For union members, call 800-472-2005 regarding assistance offers: $300 Furlough Grant for eligible Union Plus credit card holders; Mortgage Assistance Loan & $300 Grant; payment grace period for your Union Plus Life and Accident Insurance; payment grace period for Union Plus Auto Insurance; and, payment grace period for Union Plus Life and Accident Insurance. Visit www.unionplus.org/blog/consumer-tips/resources-members-impacted-government-shutdown.
– AVTA Free bus rides are provided on all of AVTA’s bus routes, including the local transit routes in the Antelope Valley; the AVTA commuter routes, which service stops in downtown Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley and Edwards Air Force Base; and, the North County TRANSporter to Santa Clarita. To take advantage of this assistance, federal employees will show valid federal employment identification upon boarding any AVTA bus. AVTA is also offering a complimentary 31-day bus pass on local transit routes to these employees, who must come in to AVTA headquarters in Lancaster, located at 42210 6th Street West, to obtain it.
– Southern California Edison (SCE) If you are affected by the government shutdown and need help paying your bill, visit www.sce.com/customer-service/billing-payment/financial-assistance.
– Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) Not limited to federal workers, but to help extend your payment due date, visit www.socalgas.com/pay-bill/need-more-time-to-pay.
Automotive Finance Companies
– Toyota Financial Services & Lexus Financial Services: Affected lease and finance customers in good standing with their accounts may be eligible to take advantage of up to two months of finance contract payment extensions or lease deferred payments. For Toyota Financial Services, call 800-874-8822. For Lexus Financial Services, call 800-874-7050.
– Hyundai Capital: Hyundai will extend all Hyundai Capital auto loan and lease payments for 30 days for current Hyundai owners who are federal government employees furloughed during the shutdown. Impacted consumers should contact Hyundai Motor Finance at 800-523-4030 to take advantage of this offer.
– Kia Motors Finance: Kia has announced they’re offering deferred payments of 30 days. If you’ve been affected by the current government shutdown and need assistance from Kia Finance, call 866-331-5632.
– Ford Credit, GM Financial, & Mercedes-Benz Financial Services: It has been reported that these companies are among those providing qualified customers options such as payment deferrals, late fee waivers and special care lines to address their individual problems, though official announcements from these companies have not been released online.
Mobile Telephone Service Providers
– AT&T: Will assist with adjusting late fees, providing extensions, and revising payment schedules. Visit about.att.com/newsroom/2019/payment_plans_shutdown.html.
– Sprint: Will provide short-term payment solutions. Call 1-888-211-4747, or visit https://newsroom.sprint.com/sprint-will-assist-customers-impacted-by-federal-government-shutdown.htm.
– T-Mobile: Offering short-term assistance and can spread out service payments over time. Call 877-746-0909 or 611 from a T-Mobile device. https://t-mo.co/2FLCwMy
– Verizon: Offering flexible payment options and has a Promise to Pay program to set payments for a future date. Call 1-866-266-1445. www.verizon.com/about/news/impacted-government-shutdown-verizon-has-your-back
Rental Home Assistance
– National Rental Home Council: Represents many of the nation’s largest operators of single-family rental homes. They’re offering deferred rent payment options with no late fees to any renter who has been furloughed.
– OPM Sample Letters for Creditors and Mortgage Companies: OPM created sample letters for Federal workers to contact their landlords, mortgage lenders, and utilities to request help during the shutdown.
National Food Resources
– Feeding America: With a nationwide network of 200 food banks, they have 60,000 partner pantries from which they can serve communities across the United States. Contact Feeding America for additional information. Visit www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/how-feeding-america-and-its-food-bank-network-are-responding-government-shutdown.
– Rosetta Stone is giving away a free three-month online subscription to furloughed government workers. Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and the government department you work for. Note that the offer ends Thursday, January 31.