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Detroit Announces City's First Income-Based Water Affordability Plan

(CBS DETROIT) - The city of Detroit and the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department launched the city's first income-based water affordability plan, officials announced Tuesday.

The Detroit Lifeline Plan offers income-qualifying residents fixed monthly rates as low as $18 and no more than $56.

Launching this plan will also help reach community advocates' goals of a system where low-income residents don't pay more than 1.8% of their monthly income for water services.

"When we announced the extension of the water shutoff moratorium through the end of this year, we committed to working toward a solution to permanently end water shutoffs for low-income residents," said Mayor Mike Duggan. "The new Lifeline Plan is a major step toward that goal, and those enrolled will continue to participate in a moratorium. We are calling on all elected officials and community leaders to join us to ensure this new program is funded long-term by the state and federal dollars."

According to officials, an average Detroit household with three people pays $81.62 per month for their water, sewerage, and drainage.

Under the Detroit Lifeline Plan, qualifying Detroiters will receive up to 4,500 gallons of water per month at a fixed income-based rate.

Here are the plan's three tiers:

  • If you receive SNAP/FAP benefits – You pay $18 a month for water, sewer, and drainage services;
  • If you are a low-income household (non-SNAP/FAP) – You pay $43 a month for your total DWSD bill; or
  • If you are a moderate-income household (non-SNAP/FAP) – You pay $56 a month for your total DWSD bill.

If a household goes over 4,500 gallons of water then they will be charged for the additional usage.

The city of Detroit says income-eligible households include:

  • The 2,500 households currently enrolled in WRAP will be auto-enrolled in the new plan beginning today;
  • The 19,000-plus households who were previously in WRAP can immediately qualify and will be contacted by Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency;
  • Low-income-eligible households; and
  • Households receiving SNAP/FAP benefits.

Income-eligible residents can apply for the Detroit Lifeline Plan through Wayne Metro by calling 313-386-9727 or visiting the website.

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