NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Detroit water affordability program still trying to enroll residents as shutoff moratorium ends

Wikipedia User Faizmomen

Detroiters with past due water bills may get a knock on the door this month, as the city enrolls thousands into its new income-based affordability program. More than 7,000 qualifying households may pay only $18 a month.

Detroit plans to restart water shutoffs in the new year. But with a new affordability plan, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Director Gary Brown expects people can avoid shutoffs.

"I just want to assure everyone that the moratorium does not end for customers that are enrolled in the Lifeline program," Brown said. "And if you don't qualify for the Lifeline program, we simply ask that you call us, tell us the situation, and we will put you on a payment plan."

Detroit has paid over $7 million in arrears since launching the Lifeline plan over the summer. Brown says there are still 60,000 households with arrears.

“It doesn't matter what your income is," Brown said. "We have a program that will fit your needs. Every every residential customer has an opportunity not to experience a disconnection or service interruption as long as they just ask for the help.”

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is pushing to get 20,000 households enrolled in the new program.

Briana Rice is a reporter/producer operating out of Detroit.