By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – In partnership with state and county agencies, city officials approved a program to assist residents who struggle to pay water bills.
City Council last month approved participation in the Water Residential Assistance Program, a program sponsored by the Great Lakes Water Authority and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency which offers assistance to qualifying, low-income families.
“Some families struggle to pay their water bills,” Mayor Rick Sollars said in a statement. “This program can be of assistance to those who qualify.”
Up to $300 annually is available for qualifying residents, with additional help possible via other sources courtesy of a $4.2 million water-support program sponsored by GLWA.
Sollars brought the agreement between the city and Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency to council in May, and said that the newly formed GLWA is a regional water authority which serves about 40 percent of the state’s water customers. The agency serves as an umbrella authority for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties, which share regional operations and control of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in exchange for annual lease payments.
Assistance will be available to customers who meet the income guidelines of 150 percent of the federal poverty level – an income of about $36,000 for a family of four. Up to $1,000 will be used to perform a water audit and provide home repairs to eliminate excess usage. Qualifying residents will be eligible to remain in the program for two years.
Through affiliated funding sources, households can receive up to $1,000 for additional water conservation and minor home plumbing repairs annually.
The program will be administered through Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. Interested residents should contact the agency at www.waynemetro.org/WRAP.
(James Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)