AUGUSTA – In collaboration with local water and wastewater utility districts, MaineHousing is launching the Maine Water Assistance Program, meant to help households that may be facing a water disconnection or sewer lien because of an unpaid bill or past due balance.
The program is funded with $4.7 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. It will help low and moderate income homeowners or renters who are facing a disconnection notice, who have had their water turned off, or who are struggling to pay their water bill.
“MaineHousing is pleased to open this new program for Mainers who may need help with their water costs,” said Erik Jorgensen, MaineHousing’s Senior Director of Communications and Government Relations. “We know it will make a difference for thousands of households while also relieving the financial burden of unpaid bills for our many water and wastewater utility providers.”
Jorgensen noted that launching this program has been a collaborative effort among a group of partners, including the Maine Rural Water Association, the Maine Water Utilities Association, the Maine Office of the Public Advocate, the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, the Portland Water District, the Greater Augusta Water District, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“We are also grateful for the support of our U.S. Congressional delegation and the funding that is being provided by the American Rescue Plan Act,” Jorgensen said.
Income-eligible households may also qualify for a one-time water benefit of up to $500 that will be credited towards a current or future bill.
“We’re pleased Mainers struggling to pay their household bills are being provided financial assistance through the new Maine Water Assistance Program. The program will help alleviate some of the financial burden homeowners are facing today,” said Portland Water District Board President Louise Douglas.
Homeowners or others responsible for a household’s water and/or wastewater bill can apply for help by visiting MaineHousing’s program page.
To apply for the program an applicant must have a current copy of their water or wastewater utility bill and the bill must be in the name of the applicant.
The applicant’s water or wastewater utility provider must also agree to participate in MaineHousing’s Maine Water Assistance Program, which will make payments directly to water and/or wastewater utilities on the behalf of their customers.
In Franklin County, the Eustis Water Department, Farmington Falls Standard Water District, Farmington Water Department, Town of Farmingon Sewer Department, Jay Village Water District, North Jay Water District, Town of Jay Sewer, Kingfield Water District, Kingfield Waste Water, Mount Blue Standard Water District, New Sharon Water District, Town of Rangeley, and Town of Wilton are participating in the program.
In neighboring communities, the Anson-Madison Sanitary District, Canton Water District, Town of Dixfield, Livermore Falls Water District, Mexico Water District, Rumford Water District, and Starks Water District are also participating.