BALTIMORE — Baltimore City Department of Public Works created an income based program in an effort to confront concerns over water bill affordability for city households.
The new program is expected to decrease an average bill for a family of three from about $98 per month to about $61 per month. DPW officials say an additional credit called BH2O+ for households at or below 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines will cut the bill by another $20 per month.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund recently released a report that showed that Baltimore's water crisis disproportionately affects black communities. The report claims that water rates in Baltimore are rising faster than the national average, and states that water/sewer bills should be below 2 percent of household income in order to be considered affordable
DPW says families enrolled in the the BH2O Assists program will pay just 1.6 percent of the median household income toward water bills, which they say is below the NAACP's recommendation.
BH2O Assists program begins July 1, 2019 and enrollment will last for 12 months. Applications will be taken at Baltimore’s five Community Action Partnership Centers. For more information call the Customer Support and Services Division at 410-396-5398, email DPW.Billing@baltimorecity.gov, or visit us at 200 Holliday Street, Room 8.