May 2016, , ,
Implementation and Impact Evaluation of Local Interventions for Financial Empowerment through Utility Payments (LIFT-UP) Final Report
This is the Final Report for the LIFT UP model. In 2013, NLC selected five cities to pilot the LIFT-UP model with their city-owned water utilities: Houston, Texas, Louisville, Kentucky, Newark, New Jersey, Savannah, Georgia and St. Petersburg, Florida. Prior to the launch of LIFT-UP, the five cities reported delinquency rates at the water utility that ranged between 20% and 48% of all accounts. City officials in each of the cities recognized this opportunity and were instrumental in assembling LIFT-UP teams made up of utility staff, FE providers and other representatives from municipal and nonprofit organizations. To assess the impact of the LIFT-UP pilot, NLC engaged an external evaluator, the Center for Financial Security (CFS) at the University of Wisconsin. This report summarizes the results of the evaluation. As a pilot initiative, the lessons learned through the evaluation of LIFT-UP can improve future iterations of the program, as well as inform innovative municipal financial empowerment strategies more broadly.