Consider Participating in the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

Posted on May 2, 2023 by John LaMacchia

Funding may be available to your community through the State of Michigan’s Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). Over $27 million is available until September 30, 2023, to help your residents with past due balances.

LIHWAP directly benefits utilities by providing payments on behalf of their customers who are behind on their water or wastewater bills.

Many communities across Michigan have not opted into the LIHWAP. If your community is not currently taking advantage of this program, we encourage you to learn more. Below is information on the program, how to participate, and an opportunity to provide data to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services about your community’s needs, regardless of your participation status.

LIHWAP Overview:

LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program to help low-income households pay overdue water and wastewater bills. Michigan received emergency funding from Congress to administer this program. This program is available to low-income homeowners and renters. Funding is administered through Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to community action agencies statewide until September 30, 2023, unless depleted prior to that date. Michigan was allocated 36 million dollars in funding, and less than 10 million dollars has been spent.

Communities must complete a LIHWAP Participation Agreement before receiving payments on behalf of eligible customers. The agreement is valid for the duration of the program. A LIHWAP payment shall guarantee service for at least 90 days after receipt of payment. Participation is voluntary for water and wastewater providers. Community action agencies will work with water and wastewater providers to implement the program and engage in outreach to residents.

Contact your Community Action Agency to participate! Click here to find the Community Action Agency serving your county.

John LaMacchia is the League’s director of state & federal affairs. He can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0303.

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