Help us fight the water affordability crisis: Support policy that will end water shutoffs

Published on March 20, 2024 in

Across Michigan, many households are grappling with rising water rates that have become increasingly unaffordable. When people cannot afford to pay, they face the loss of access to essential water services, added economic hardship and grave risks to both individual and community health. At United Way, we believe that access to clean and affordable drinking water is a basic human need.

That’s why we are asking the Michigan Legislature to pass House Bills 5088-5093 and Senate Bills 549-554 which would create a statewide water affordability program and prevent shutoffs. If passed, the legislation would:

  • Create a low-income water residential affordability program to ensure that water bills for low-income households do not exceed 3 percent of that household’s income.
  • Make households that earn less than 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Limit or are receiving any form of state or federal assistance eligible. Low-income households with water leak issues may also be eligible for plumbing repairs up to $2,500.
  • Provide protection from water shutoffs for those whose health conditions require access to water.
  • Require water providers to notify customers facing shutoff at least four times while also protecting customers attempting to enroll in a water affordability plan or making a minimum good faith payment.

This legislation would put Michigan on the map as the first state in the nation to recognize access to water is as vital as gas and electrical services. Join us in urging the legislature to pass the water affordability bill package today!

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Help us fight the water affordability crisis