The City of Fort Worth Texas offers customers a water bill assistance program. The emergency program was created to help low income households and people who are experiencing a short term financial difficulty. There are government resources available to help customers pay their water and even sewer bills. Some assistance may also be offered for making plumbing repairs to income qualified homeowners as well.
Unfortunately funding is limited and not everyone can be helped. The majority of the funding comes from private donations, which you can read more about below. Contributions are used to help lower income Tarrant or Denton County families, and more donations are always needed. Water bill assistance is distributed across Forth Worth, regardless of the county, in the following manner.
The Fort Worth Parks and Community Services Department administers the program. The organization works closely with the Fort Worth Water Department to ensure that the donations are put to good use. The agency partners with the Parks and Community Services Department, and together they handle the processing of applications as well as distribution of the funds to members of the community. As with most financial assistance programs, certain conditions do need to be met by applicants.
Recipients of water or sewer bill assistance must not exceed 175 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines as well as they need to be customers of the Fort Worth Water Department. Some exceptions could be made to income thresholds on a one off basis. To put this into context, qualified customers can receive a maximum of $300 per year for paying their sanitation or water bills. In addition, up to $1,000 per year may be provided to pay for plumbing repairs in a crisis if the Fort Worth family has nowhere else to turn. As indicated below, funding is limited.
The terms of the program work as follows. The applicant must be facing extraordinary events, or some sort of financial hardship or crisis situations that have or will deplete their financial resources. The household’s total income (including disability insurance, social security, retirement/pensions, unemployment, workers compensation, underemployment, etc.) needs to be at a level low enough that is found to be is insufficient to address their essential needs. The income of the applicant needs to be so low that it prevents them from paying for water bills.
If they need help with repairs, the application process is a little different. The household needs to have an expensive water bill due to those plumbing problems, and the issue must be resolved before any financial assistance with paying water bill is provided.
As indicated above, the program runs on the generosity of customer donations. Current Fort Worth Water customers can donate. Contributions are tax deductible. Both one time and recurring donations are accepted. People can contribute the City of Fort Worth's Utility Bill Assistance Program using any of the following methods.
Customers can decide to make a pledge to the program that will be added as a recurring charge which will be billed on future monthly bills; or customers may decide to contribute just by making a one-time donation using the bill insert and including the payment with their current payment. Another option is for people to write in a donation amount on their current water bill stub, where the included payment would represent the amount due for the water bills plus the indicated donation amount. Donations are both state of Texas and federal government tax deductible.
The number of low income or City of Fort Worth Texas customers that can be helped is based on the community’s generous donations. Requests for assistance with paying water bills should call the Parks & Community Services Department at 817.392.5790 for more information or to apply for help.
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