City assists Porter Ranch residents returning home after gas leak cap

With the Porter Ranch gas leak declared sealed, the city of Los Angeles will open a community-resources office in the area today to assist residents returning to their homes after weeks spent in temporary housing.

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday that the city's Emergency Management Department will open an office to ensure residents who were displaced during the leak have access to needed city resources as they move back to their homes.

"Stopping the leak is only the first stage of recovery,'' Garcetti said. "Thousands of lives were upended by this disaster -- and the city of Los Angeles is here to help people return to their homes, start doing business again and get back to normal as quickly as possible.''

The center, located in the Youth Center Building of the Mason Recreation Center at 10520 Mason Ave. in Chatsworth will offer residents such information as potential refunds for city services, updates from the county
assessor about possible impacts on tax bills, disaster relief for businesses and access to mental health services.

The center will open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to call on its sanitation bureau to adjust the sewer-service and trash bills of residents who moved out of their homes due to the Porter Ranch gas leak.

"Over 3,600 families have been relocated during the Aliso Canyon gas leak and may not return to their homes for some time even after the leak has been capped,'' Councilman Mitchell Englander said. "These are residents whose homes are vacant and are not utilizing the sewer, refuse collection and recycling services provided by the city.''

Residents will be eligible for credit if they have not been placing any of their trash or recycling containers out for service. Requests for bill credits can be made to LA Sanitation, which can be reached at (800) 773-2489,
or by calling the 311 information line.

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