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Low Income Household Water Assistance Program


Total Assistance, FY 2008 to Present
Assistance Type: Not Applicable
Popular Name: LIHWAP
Assistance Listing Number

Objectives: The objective of the Low Income Household Water Assistance program is to meet unprecedented water services needs that arose during the COID-19 pandemic. This program is meant to be an emergency program that provides quick intervention to help the people facing the high water/wastewater costs compared to their income in resuming and/or maintaining their home water/wastewater services. The benefits are limited to households with low income, particularly those that pay a high proportion of household income for drinking water and wastewater services, by providing funds to owners or operators of public water systems or treatment works to reduce arrearages of and rates charged to eligible households. Low income is defined in the federal rules as the greater of 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or 60% of State Median Income; however, each recipient (state/tribe/territory) may proscribe a lower cut-off. Recipients can also decide a household’s eligibility based on categorical eligibility of a household member, meaning someone in the household is already receiving another type of qualifying public assistance such as from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The intent to is provide financial assistance to cover water, wastewater and related services and fees. The priority is to provide assistance first and foremost to households that face the most immediate need—households whose services are already disconnected. The benefit payment and/or interventions shall be sufficient to ensure restoration of the water/wastewater services. The benefits can pay any relevant arrearage (past due amount) that is preventing service from be reconnected, as well as any related late fee, reconnection fee, penalty, etc., that is billed in normal course of billing by the water/wastewater provider to any household that has a past due balance. The last priority for assistance is for households that have service and only need help with current bills, e.g., do not have past due balances.