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San Diego County Water Authority: Money available to help low-income residents with water bill

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Posted at 12:31 PM, Nov 03, 2023

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Low-income residents may still access millions of dollars in federal assistance to help pay overdue residential water and wastewater bills, the San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday.

According to a news release, the application deadline for the Low-Income Water Assistance Program has been extended to March 31, 2024.

Congress established the program in 2021, and the federal government provided California with $116 million.

As of now, the state has $40 million available, with $5 million for San Diego County, Water Authority officials said.

LIHWAP will pay water/wastewater bills up to $2,000 for qualified low- income households. Renters whose utility payments are part of their rent are also eligible, according to the Water Authority. The authority helped secure the federal funds.

Dan Denham, Water Authority general manager, said water affordability is one of his agency's top priorities.

"We are committed to helping ensure that everyone in San Diego County has access to safe and reliable water," Denham said. "In addition to the current funds, the Water Authority is supporting efforts to develop federal legislation to make the low-income assistance program permanent."

The Water Authority has teamed up with the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County and Campesinos Unidos Inc. to inform residents about federal financial aid for water customers.

According to Water Authority officials, those wanting to check their eligibility must apply directly to MAAC or Campesinos. Residents can find their local service provider at www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/FindServicesInYourArea.aspx by entering their city.

The nonprofit MAAC serves 75,000 people each year, helping with immediate needs and providing resources to reach economic mobility. More information can be found at https://maacproject.org/lihwap/.

A private nonprofit corporation, Campesinos focuses on promoting economic, educational, employment training and social opportunities for farm workers and other disadvantaged people in Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties. More details on the organization can be found at https://campesinosunidos.org/water-program/.

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