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Oakland County, United Way partner for Hardship Assistance Program water affordability program

Running water
Posted at 3:38 PM, May 06, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-06 15:38:23-04

(WXYZ) — Oakland County is joining forces with the United Way of Southeastern Michigan to launch a water affordability program.

The program is designed to provide new resources for those who have suffered a temporary hardship so they can avoid shutoffs, fix leaks and ensure access to affordable water.

The Hardship Assistance Program was announced as part of National Drinking Water Week, which runs May 5-11.

Designed in partnership with the United Way, the program seeks to support residents facing temporary financial challenges—particularly Oakland County residents living in households unable to qualify for assistance under federal poverty guidelines but still facing hardships.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan recently began accepting applications for assistance and has already approved a few early applicants.

Funded by $300,000 in federal American Rescue Plan Act Funds, the program was developed to support residents facing temporary financial challenges, ensuring water service access, enhanced plumbing, and prevention of tax certifications that could result in foreclosure.

To fund the program beyond the initial ARPA dollars, officials are asking fordonations from individuals, philanthropic organizations, and public entities.

The program is available to all Oakland County residents using municipal water and/or sewer services.Benefits are provided on a first-come, first-served basis with an initial household cap of $2,000. Hardship Assistance Program benefits can include:

  • Plumbing repairs to address water loss contributing to increased usage.
  • Bill assistance for up to three months of water and/or sewer services.
  • Help eliminate past-due balances.