The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) announced Wednesday that the application period for the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is now open. The program will provide financial assistance to low-income households to reduce the balances they have on their residential water and wastewater bills.
The LIHWAP program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will provide benefits directly to water and wastewater companies, on behalf of residential customers. The assistance can be used, in order of priority, to:
• restore services where services have been terminated and pay reconnection fees and other charges accrued due to a disconnection;
• avoid service disruption for those residential customers who are in danger of disconnection (i.e., received shut off notices or have past due balances) and to help them afford bill payment going forward; and
• support those household customers who are current in their bills but might be in danger of falling behind in the near future.
Priority will also be given to families with elderly or disabled household members and/or with children under the age of five, no matter which category they fall into.
To be eligible for LIHWAP assistance, applicants must be water/wastewater bill holders who are responsible for paying their water and sewer bills directly to the vendors. Also, applicants’ total gross household income must be at or below 60% of the state median Income ($6,439 a month for a family of four). The LIHWAP frequently asked questions webpage has additional information about maximum income limits and other items.
Participants in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) are automatically eligible for LIHWAP assistance as long as they are water/wastewater bill holders.
People can apply online through the DCAid application portal.
People who do not have access to computers or the internet can call 1-800-510-3102 to be directed to one of the community action agencies to assist them with starting, completing, and submitting an application online.
LIHWAP is one of several programs DCA provides to help New Jersey households in need with basic resources such as housing and heating to promote long-term physical well-being. The programs include the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is a federal program that helps households at or below 60 percent of the state median income ($6,439 a month for a family of four) pay for energy costs (electric, gas, deliverable fuels and those included in rent), and the Universal Service Fund (USF) program, which provides a monthly credit on electric and gas bills for households at or below 400 percent of the federal poverty level ($8,833 a month for a family of four). Both programs are actively accepting applications and people can apply through DCAid.
DCA offers a wide range of programs and services, including affordable housing production, fire safety, building safety, community planning and development, local government management and finance, and disaster recovery and mitigation.
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