Md. Low-Income Water Assistance Program Available
The Maryland Department of Human Services has launched a new program designed to help Marylanders offset the costs of water and wastewater bills. Eligible households could receive up to $2,000 in assistance through the federally-funded Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). The focus would be on households whose drinking water and wastewater bills are past due by 30 days or more.
“No family or child should go without access to water because of challenges paying bills,” Maryland Department of Human Services Secretary, Lourdes Padilla said. “With the launch of the new water assistance program, Maryland is expanding access to more affordable water for low-income households.”
MDHS released more details Thursday:
Administered by the Department’s Office of Home Energy Programs (OHEP), the program will help low-income households pay their water and wastewater bills, avoid shutoffs, and support household water system reconnections related to non-payment. Funding is limited and applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, and will continue until federal funds are exhausted. Depending on income and specific needs, applicants may qualify for the following assistance:
- Reconnect Household Water/Wastewater Services – If the household’s water/wastewater services have been disconnected because of past due water bills, grant funds may be available to pay off the balance, including fees to reconnect household water services.
- Prevent Disconnection of Household Water/Wastewater Services – If the household has received a notice that your water/wastewater services will be disconnected due to a past overdue balance, grant funds may be available to pay all or part of your bill.
- Reduce Current Household Water/Wastewater Past Due Balance – If the household is struggling to afford your current water bills and meet other household needs, the household may qualify for temporary assistance to pay some or all of your current water bills.
Maryland residents can learn more about the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program at the Department of Human Services website and may apply for assistance safely and conveniently online using the myMDTHINK consumer portal at mymdthink.maryland.gov. If applying online isn’t feasible, individuals may request that an application be mailed to them by calling the Department’s Local Home Energy Program Office. A printable paper application can also be found on the Department of Human Services’ website.
“We are grateful for this funding and the opportunity it will provide to struggling constituents,” Office of Home Energy Programs Director Lauren Molineaux said. “We hope that this water assistance program will help allay, to an extent, one more stressor that they might have recently encountered.”