GLWA board approves changes to water affordability and conservation program

The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) Board of Directors recently approved an exception to its Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP) that will assist participants financially impacted by COVID-19.

This change allows those enrolled in WRAP who are unable to make monthly payments on time due to issues related to COVID-19 to remain in the program and maintain eligibility to continue receiving monthly bill credits and arrearage payments through Dec. 31 of this year.

The Board also recently approved changing the eligibility for households from 150 percent to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, and increased conservation and plumbing repair spending per eligible household from $1,000 to an average of $1,500 (with a cap of $2,000) per customer. In addition, for the first time since the program’s inception, eligible rental households are now able to take advantage of conservation and plumbing repairs offered through WRAP to help reduce their water consumption, if the landlord agrees not to increase rent for 12 months.

“This expansion of WRAP will help us reach many more households in Detroit and the participating member communities who may be struggling to pay their water bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, and beyond,” said GLWA board member Gary Brown. “For example, now that households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible, a family of four with up to $52,400 in combined income qualifies to participate. Prior to expansion, the maximum household income for a family of four was $36,450. This vote also expands what I believe is the most significant WRAP benefit — more dollars for minor home plumbing repairs to help homeowners, and now renters, get to an average monthly bill.” — M.K.


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