Baltimore provides assistance for paying water bills for income qualified individuals and people who are struggling or faced with a shut off. In limited cases, there may also be financial help for sewer costs for some households. The resource is known as the Public Works / Low Income Water Assistance Program.
Programs are focused on residents who are faced with a shut off of their accounts, and those income qualified individuals will be given priority as the county wants to keep their service on. Other financial assistance may be provided for individuals or families with just a delinquent water bill account. So there are different levels of priority available.
The reality is that cost of providing water service to almost two million people around the greater Baltimore area is directly related to the cost of electricity, fuel, and even federal government mandates. Many of those factors play a large part in determining the amount of water that is available for households to use, which drives the costs of the bills that are due. Unfortunately the cost of providing this service tends to go up every year.
What this means is that many customers of Baltimore water who have limited incomes are finding it harder to make ends meet. Many seniors that live on fixed income, or individuals who have lost their jobs, also may be struggling or facing shut offs. This is one big reason why Baltimore is offering financial assistance and/or cash grants to help those who may be having problems paying their monthly water bills.
Criteria for eligibility includes the customer must have verification documents for eligibility. The applicant must be a Baltimore City resident, receive their water bill directly from the City, and they also must be the utility account holder. The individuals applying for help also must reside at the address in question. The family needs to also have received a turn-off notice, delinquency letter, or tax sale notice due to being in arrears. In addition to those criteria, the customer can’t be on an existing payment plan.
There are also several income conditions that need to be met. A sliding fee type scale is in place. This means the amount of support is directly tied to the income of the family. The income criteria are based on the number of people in your household as well as various poverty scales.
In order to get more information or to apply for help, interested individuals need to contact their nearest Baltimore Community Action Center. The non-profit administers the program on behalf of the city as well as the entire county. They can provide details on the water as well as any sewer bill assistance programs that may be available.
After applying, and if you are approved, customers will receive a credit of up to $125 on their water accounts. In addition, customers will need to enter into an agreement to make consistent payments on their unpaid balance over the course of a few to several months. They also need to agree to keep current on their future water bills.
The location of the Baltimore community action centers to apply at for help with water bills are below.
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