Program helps low-income NYers pay past due water bills: How to apply

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Water from a sink (Photo Illustration by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Nearly $70 million in federal funding will be available beginning Wednesday to help low-income New Yorkers pay past-due bills for drinking water and wastewater, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Monday.

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program provides up $2,500 for drinking water past-due bills and $2,500 for wastewater past-due bills to help struggling New Yorkers avoid service interruptions.

“As New Yorkers make their comeback from the devastating effects of the pandemic, struggling households should never be left wondering whether they will be able to afford critical utilities like water and sewer service,” Hochul said in a statement. “Over the course of the pandemic, utility affordability has too often become a prohibitive obstacle to the financial stability of a household. This assistance will help ensure New Yorkers do not have to worry about losing these basic necessities as they fight to make ends meet.” 

The program is expected to serve about 105,000 households. Funding is being targeted at households with service bills that are at least 20 days past-due and funds will be paid directly to the utility, according to the governor’s office.

Eligibility is based on income, household size, and the past-due amount that is owed. A household of four would need to have a gross monthly income of $5,249 or less to qualify, per the governor’s office.

Applications will be accepted online and by mail starting Wednesday. More information, including on how to apply, can be found on the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance website.

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