Can municipalities create interventions that effectively connect consumers with resources for building financial health?

LIFT-UP (Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments) is a multi-city initiative overseen by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education, and Families designed to provide financial counseling to delinquent utility customers. Under the program, missed utility payments are used as a means of proactively identifying customers in need of assistance. Households identified by the program are offered favorable terms (e.g. lower monthly payments, new billing dates, or waived fees) to get current on utility bills, as well as financial counseling to help solve deeper financial troubles.

The project received funding from the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s Financial Capability Innovation Funds. A partnership with a collaborative of funders led by the Citi Foundation, the Funds provided support to innovative projects designed to help low-income and underserved consumers adopt positive financial behaviors.