Grand Rapids and Kent County water bill assistance.

Struggling Grand Rapids families may be able to get help for paying their water and sewer bills. The city also works with a number of non-profit agencies in Kent County and can provide referrals to these groups for additional support. While funding is very limited and restrictions are in place, some of these organizations may be able to assist income qualified customers with their monthly water expenses.

One of the main resources available is the ICB Assistance Program. The primary objective is to provide funds and grants for income qualified retail customers. Various limits as well as qualifications are in place, and of course assistance is only offered for those customers that require some form of financial help in paying their sewer or water bills.

Funds are raised for the ICB program from the so called Third Amendment to the Water and Sanitary Sewer Service Agreement. What occurs is that up to 12.5% of the penalty fees paid annually by retail water and sewer customers goes to fund this assistance program. So while this is not a lot of money, there should be some type of funding always available.

The city partners with the Area Community Service Employment Training Council, or ACSET, to administer the program. They accept and approve applications and disburse funds. Some of the eligibility requirements include many or all of the following. Or find other financial aid from Area Community Service Employment Training Council.

  • The applicant needs to be at or below 200% of current federal government poverty levels. The income of the household will be calculated on a 30 days forward basis including the date of application.
  • It goes without saying that the applicant must be a Grand Rapids Water System/Sewer System customer. So the financial aid is only for individuals that live in the company service territory. They also need to have a copy of the City of Grand Rapids Water and Sewer bill in their name.
  • The customer needs to be in a shut-off status and/or service must be currently off.
  • Assistance is only for the principle resident of the property. Or financial aid may be provided to the legal tenant of the property provided they have water sewer payment responsibility.
  • The program cannot pay any water service reconnection fees or deposits.





Additional places for water bill help in Kent County

As indicated, there are a number of other agencies across Kent County Michigan that may be able to help. Some of these may have funds for paying water bills or they can offer referrals. Other agencies may help the household enter into a payment plan. The resources available to qualified customers tends to be very limited.

Kent County Department of Human Services, 121 Franklin, S.E Ste 200, (616) 248-1000

ACSET, Northeast Complex, 836 Fuller Ave, NE, call (616) 336-7740. This agency covers the zip codes of 49503 and 49505.

ACSET, Sheldon Complex, 121 Franklin St., SE Emergency Relief, (616) 336-4000. Zip codes of 49301, 49355, 49356, 49506, 49507, 49508, 49512, 49548, 49509.

ACSET, Westside Complex, 215 Straight St., SW Emergency Relief . Call (616) 336-4180. Programs for water or sewer costs is only for families in 49504, 49544, 49519.

Salvation Army, Booth Family Services, 1215 East Fulton. Call (616) 459-9468 for Emergency Relief.

Senior Neighbors is located at 820 Monroe Ave., NW. Call (616) 459-6019 for utility and maybe water bill financial assistance.

Steepletown Neighborhood Services is located at 671 Davis Ave., NW. Call (616) 451-4215 for emergency assistance.

Kent County Department of Veterans Affairs can be reached at (616) 632-5722. The office is at 82 Ionia Ave., NW, Ste# 380. Any grants for paying water bills will only be provided to income qualified veterans or their families.





Michigan Veterans Trust Fund is based at 3000 Monroe Ave., NE. Call (616) 365-3899 for emergency assistance.

Home Repair Services of Kent County. Address is 1100 South Division Ave.. Call (616) 241-2601. They may have repaid assistance.

City of Grand Rapids Housing Rehab is located at 300 Monroe Ave. NW Ste 440. Dial (616) 456-3030 for Home Rehab.

By Jon McNamara

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