Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott recently announced a new program designed to provide more equitable access to residents who need help paying their water bills.
Mayor Brandon M. Scott recently announced a new Water4All discount program. The new program provides more equitable access to financial assistance for eligible Baltimore City residents who need help paying their water bills. This new water assistance program provides a monthly discount for water and sewer costs based on a percentage of residents’ income. For the first time, tenants who do not directly pay their water bills are eligible to apply for water payment assistance.
According to the press release:
“Today’s announcement ties directly into my priority pillar for ensuring the Responsible Stewardship of City Resources. The City’s new Water4All discount program is an important step towards building a more equitable Baltimore for all, tenants and homeowners alike, providing comprehensive protection for City residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As City Council President, I worked alongside advocates to lead the fight to pass the Water Accountability & Equity Act for the benefit of Baltimore families. And as Mayor, I have made sure that advocates have remained at the table as we worked to provide a water discount program that makes water costs affordable for City residents. I am truly honored to announce the launch of this first-of-its-kind water assistance program aimed at assisting the City’s most vulnerable residents.”
About the Water4All Program:
The innovative Water4All program uses a formula to calculate the maximum amount residents should pay for annual water and sewer services, based on a percentage of their annual household income. The maximum percentage could be 1 percent, 2 percent, or 3 percent, depending on income and household size. The difference between this calculated maximum amount and a resident’s estimated annual water and sewer bill amount would determine their annual discount.
The water discount program is open to Baltimore City residents with income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level guidelines. That would be close to $53,000 a year for a four-member household.
In addition, residents must be:
- Homeowners whose name is on the water bill.
- Tenants whose name is on the water bill and who pay the city directly for water and sewer services.
- Tenants whose name is NOT on the water bill, who do NOT pay the City directly for water and sewer service, and who can provide both:
- A lease that clearly states the tenant is responsible for paying water and sewer services separately from the rent; and
- A lease that clearly states the amount to be paid monthly by the tenant for those services or a copy of the monthly invoice for water and sewer services from the landlord or the landlord’s management company.