By SEAN DELANEY
Sterling Heights officials are urging residents struggling to pay their water bills to seek help via the Water Residential Assistance Program, which was created earlier this year by the Great Lakes Water Authority to aid low-income homeowners. (Sean Delaney – The Source)
Sterling Heights officials are urging residents struggling to pay their water bills to seek help via the Water Residential Assistance Program, which was created earlier this year by the Great Lakes Water Authority to aid low income homeowners.
“In our county, the program is administered by the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency in partnership with Macomb Community Action,” Sterling Heights Treasurer Jennifer Varney said. “A total of nearly $4 million of assistance has been funded, and approximately $468,000 of that has been allocated to Macomb County.”
According to Varney, it is estimated the allocation will help approximately 580 Macomb County residents per year.
“I strongly encourage any resident who thinks they may qualify for this program to contact WRAP as soon as possible, as all dollars are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis,” she said. “As of today, three Sterling Heights residents have already been accepted into the program.”
To qualify for the WRAP program, participants must meet the following requirements:
• Have income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty threshold.
• Be residential customers of the GLWA service area, with first priority to customers who have a past due bill and/or are in active shut off.
• Provide proof of residency or provide renter’s proof of responsibility for water on lease.
• Stay current on monthly bill payment for 12 months.
In addition, customers with water usage 20 percent or more above average must participate in a home water audit and install water conservation measures.
“Qualified households can receive up to $1,000 per year of payment assistance consisting of $25 per month toward their current water bills, as well as up to $700 annually toward past due bills,” Varney said. “The $25 per month, which equates to $75 per quarter, can help the average resident cover up to 38 percent of their water bill. And for those residents who are paying the minimum bill quarterly, the WRAP assistance will cover 100 percent of their quarterly water bill.”
Qualified participants also are eligible to receive water saving kits and consumer training classes, as well as supportive WRAP-around services, which include referrals to energy, food and clothing assistance programs.
“This program truly offers meaningful assistance for the average customer,” Varney said.
For more information about the program, visit waynemetro.org/WRAP or call 313-386-WRAP (9727).
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