Detroit Evening Report: City secures funding to extend water affordability plan

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The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s income-based water affordability plan is being extended another two years after the city reportedly secured additional funding to support the program.

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Known as the Lifeline Plan, the program lowers Detroiters’ water bills between $18 and $56 per month based on income, erases debt from past due water bills and protects participants from water shutoffs. Detroiters’ household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level to be eligible. More than 24,000 Detroit households are enrolled in the program, which also requires participants to keep their water usage within limits set by the city.

Some water affordability advocates have concerns about the ability to sustain the program, which has cost the city approximately $32.4 million.

When the city launched the Lifeline Plan in August 2022, it had enough funding to continue the program for a year and a half, Outlier Media reports, but has since secured additional funding to sustain it through the end of 2025. Some of that funding will come from the Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency, the nonprofit enrolling residents into the program, as well as additional funding from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services grants.

Eligible Detroit residents can apply for the Lifeline Plan online or call 313-386-9727.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.