Financial Aid available for low-income residents who may be struggling to pay their water bill

A new state program announced by Governor Tony Evers will provide much needed assistance to low-income Wisconsin residents who may be experiencing some difficulties in paying their water bill.

water faucet

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is funded by $18 million in federal COVID-19 relief and will run through September 2022. The money is part of the funds authorized under the $1.9 trillion federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).

LIHWAP is part of an emergency effort to respond to COVID-19 and marks the first time that these water
assistance funds have been made available for Wisconsin residents. “These critical funds will help
alleviate some of the financial stress families are facing and ensure that folks have the resources they need to make ends meet,”, expressed Evers in a statement.

The program will work with landlords and water utilities to pay off any past-due bills for
customers
. State officials anticipate eligible households could receive up to $5,000 to cover unpaid balances.

HOW TO APPLY

Eligible applicants for LIHWAP first need to apply and qualify for Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP). Residents interested in applying should should call 2-1-1 or 1-800-506-5596.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) is working with Energy Services, Inc. (ESI) for LIHWAP application intake. Eligibility is based on household income, household size, and the household’s water and utility burden. Residents may be eligible for aid if they earn 60 percent of the state median income level or less.

Learn more: New Program Helps Low-Income People Pay Water Bills
Urban Milwaukee / Wisconsin Public Radio 12/30/21