The San Diego County Water Authority announced Friday that low-income residents may have access to millions of dollars in federal aid to help pay delinquent residential water and sewer bills.
The application deadline for the Low-Income Water Assistance Program has been extended to March 31, 2024, according to a news release.
Congress enacted the program in 2021, and the federal government provided $116 million to California.
Currently, the state has $40 million available and San Diego County has $5 million, water officials said.
LIHWAP pays up to $2,000 in water and sewer bills for eligible low-income households. According to the water bureau, renters whose utility bills are part of their rent will also be eligible. The agency helped secure federal funding.
Water Department General Manager Dan Denham said water affordability is one of the department’s top priorities.
“We are committed to helping everyone in San Diego County have access to safe, reliable water,” Denham said. “In addition to current funding, the Water Board is supporting efforts to enact federal legislation to make the Low Income Assistance Program permanent.”
The water department is working with the San Diego County Anti-Poverty Metropolitan Advisory Committee and Campesinos Unidos Inc. to inform residents about federal financial assistance for water customers.
If you want to check your eligibility, you should apply directly to MAAC or Campesinos, water department officials said. Residents can find local service providers at: www.csd.ca.gov/Pages/FindServicesInYourArea.aspx By entering their city.
The nonprofit MAAC serves 75,000 people each year, meeting their immediate needs and providing resources to achieve economic mobility. For more information, please visit: https://maacproject.org/lihwap/.
Campesinos, a private, nonprofit corporation, focuses on promoting economic, educational, employment training, and social opportunities for farmworkers and other disadvantaged populations in Imperial, Riverside, and San Diego Counties. For more information about the organization, please visit: https://campesinosunidos.org/water-program/.