Customers that are struggling with paying their water bills in the Hampton Roads Virginia area can look into financial assistance programs or payment plans. The main resource offered is the H20 – Help to Others – Program and this is targeted at people that are facing a short term, unexpected hardship that they did not create. Over 15 different water companies in the eastern Virginia region administer it for their customers, provided they meet qualifications.
The program, which is widely available in the area, relies on fund raising efforts and donations from local customers and businesses. All contributions will be tax deductible for those who participate. If you can afford to, or want to give back to the less fortunate in the community, please do donate as your contribution will make a difference to someone that is struggling.
The Hampton Roads Planning District Commission (HRPDC) partnered with most of the regional water companies to create the H20 – Help to Others – Program. It has been operating for several years and has helped thousands of families over that period of time. Many families ave been able to keep their water service on as a result of the funds from H2O. While qualified applicants will only be provided a small amount of financial assistance, it has helped prevent a number of disconnections.
The HRPDC Commission is a regional non-profit, government affiliated organization. The agency is effective at representing the Hampton Roads area’s 16 local governments and townships as well as charities such as the Salvation Army. Throughout the course of each and every year, the Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) and also HRPDC conduct fund raising efforts across the region.
As indicated, all money raised is used to provide assistance through the program. After these fund raising efforts end, a base amount of cash grants is allocated to each locality. Anything that is left will be distributed to the companies based on number of water accounts. So a water provider with more accounts will receive more funding that can then be provided to its customers.
In order to apply, customers of course need to be found qualified. Also, there needs to be money available to pay out, as resources are limited. Some of the conditions in place for the H20 – Help to Others – Program include the following.
-The household needs to be able to demonstrate that a family or personal crisis has inhibited their ability to pay their public utility bills. This can be an emergency medical condition, death in the family, unexpected job loss, or some other crisis.
-Clients of course must also live in the service area of the participating water company utility provider.
-Utilities that take part in H2O include public water provders in the entire Hampton Roads Virginia area as well as HRSD.
-The amount of the outstanding water bill can not exceed $250.00 with a Virginia Beach client. However this scale can change. For example, the HRSD and Public Utility can not exceed $200. Other limits may be in place too.
-Clients must pay HRSD and/or Public Utilities for Virginia Beach, Norfolk, or Chesapeake in order to qualify for help.
The funding provided to those that qualify is very limited. For example, clients found eligible can receive financial assistance at most one time in any twelve-month period. While the funding will depend on donations collected, in some cases a household may receive up to $250.00 in cash grants, or the balance due, whichever is less.
Self-sufficiency and conservation is also required. Eligible low income clients who are provided a grant for their water expenses must also agree to participate in an educational and conservation program as recommended by The Salvation Army. This is even more enforced if there are signs of a water waster, such as extremely high bills or the careless use of this precious natural resource.
To learn more or to apply, call your local office or water company. They can also go over any relevant discounts or extension programs in the Hampton Roads service territory. Call a provider in order to get current information on the water bill program. Or inquire with them into any payment plans.
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