Millions of dollars in federal aid are still available for low-income water customers in San Diego County to cover overdue residential water and wastewater bills. The San Diego County Water Authority helped secure the federal funds — and the deadline for applications has been extended to March 31, 2024.
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), established by Congress in 2021, offers one-time payments to cover outstanding residential water and/or wastewater bills. The federal government allocated $116 million to California to help households struggling to pay their water bills. Statewide, $40 million remains for the program, with nearly $5 million remaining for San Diego County.
“Water affordability is one of the top priorities for the Water Authority, and we are committed to helping ensure that everyone in San Diego County has access to safe and reliable water,” said Water Authority General Manager Dan Denham. “In addition to the current funds, the Water Authority is supporting efforts to develop federal legislation to make the low-income assistance program permanent.”
Financial aid for water customers
As part of its commitment to water affordability, the Water Authority partnered with the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty of San Diego County (MAAC) and Campesinos Unidos, Inc. to provide outreach and education so residents who are struggling economically are aware of the federal financial aid for water customers.
To find out if they are eligible and to participate in LIHWAP, customers must apply directly to MAAC or Campesinos, the local service providers selected by the state to implement the program in the San Diego region. LIHWAP will pay water-wastewater bills of up to $2,000. Qualified low-income households, including renters whose utility payments are included in their rent, are eligible for funds. Residents can determine their local service provider at www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/FindServicesInYourArea.aspx, by entering their city and locating their “water utility assistance provider.”
MAAC is a nonprofit that serves 75,000 individuals every year and partners with individuals and families to address their immediate needs and provide them with the tools and resources to achieve economic mobility. More information is at https://maacproject.org/lihwap/.
Campesinos was incorporated as a private non-profit corporation to specifically promote greater social, economic, educational, and employment training opportunities for farm workers and other economically disadvantaged residents of the Imperial, Riverside and San Diego counties. More information is at https://campesinosunidos.org/water-program/.