The new Miss. helps low-income residents pay their water bills

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Low-income Mississippi residents may be able to get help paying their water and sewer bills through a new Department of Social Services program.

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program will use $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help eligible low-income residents maintain access to clean water and sanitation services. sewer until the end of September 2023.

“Access to clean water and sanitation services is essential to a family’s daily needs,” Robert Anderson, the department’s executive director, said in a news release. “Our hope is to provide tangible help with today’s water bill to provide lasting hope for tomorrow.”

Anderson said the goal is to help vulnerable Mississippians, including seniors, people with disabilities and families with young children who are struggling to pay their water bills.

What bills can the program help pay?

– Water bills

– Sewer or waste water bills

– Late fee

– Water Lien Removal Fee

– Storm water charges

– Groundwater charges

– Reconnection fees

According to the Department of Social Services, the program is available to individuals and families who need help paying an outstanding bill, overdue water bills, whose service has been terminated, or who have received notice. stating that their service will be terminated within the next 60 days. .

Low-income Mississippi residents can get help paying water and sewer bills through new program

Mina Corpuz

Mississippi Clarion Registry

Low-income Mississippi residents may be able to get help paying their water and sewer bills through a new Department of Social Services program.

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program will use $13 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to help eligible low-income residents maintain access to clean water and sanitation services. sewer until the end of September 2023.

“Access to clean water and sanitation services is essential to a family’s daily needs,” Robert Anderson, the department’s executive director, said in a news release. “Our hope is to provide tangible help with today’s water bill to provide lasting hope for tomorrow.”

Anderson said the goal is to help vulnerable Mississippians, including seniors, people with disabilities and families with young children who are struggling to pay their water bills.

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What bills can the program help pay?

– Water bills

– Sewer or waste water bills

– Late fee

– Water Lien Removal Fee

– Storm water charges

– Groundwater charges

– Reconnection fees

According to the Department of Social Services, the program is available to individuals and families who need help paying an outstanding bill, overdue water bills, whose service has been terminated, or who have received notice. stating that their service will be terminated within the next 60 days. .

Department of Human Resources spokesman Mark Jones said there was an annual cap of $1,500 per bill, but there was no limit to the number of times a resident could ask the program for help.

Funding will be paid directly to utility providers, according to the department.

Who is eligible?

The applicant’s household income must be at or below 60% of the state median income. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age or an emancipated minor.

Mississippi residents who also qualify for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also administered by the Department of Social Services to help pay electric and gas bills, are eligible for the water aid.

To determine eligibility for the water aid program, applicants may contact their local community action or human resources agency or submit a pre-application online through the state common web portal. Jones said the online portal may not yet include an option for the water program, but the department is in the process of adding it.

Those who do not have access to a computer can call the community action agency or human resources agency in their area.

Here are some of the action and resource agencies in the Jackson area:

– South Central Community Action Agency, 3891 I-55 South Frontage Road, Jackson. 769-235-8224 or toll free 866-313-2905

– Hinds County Human Resources Agency, 258 Maddox Road, Jackson. 601-923-3930

– Madison County Citizen Services Agency, 140 West Center St., Canton. 601-855-5710

– Rankin County Human Resources Agency, 1545 West Government St., Suite C, Brandon. 601-825-1309

For information about other community service agencies in the state, go to https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/community-services/

Likewise, Jackson has its own water and sewer assistance program, which includes a low-income relief plan, a plan for non-low-income customers, and lump sum blocked bills.

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