KY Water Assistance Program Runs through 2023
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Kentucky households can still apply for assistance to help pay their water bills.
Additional federal aid through the American Rescue Plan Act provided the state $18 million to pay water companies directly to cover delinquent bills, past-due charges, and fees and taxes for drinking and wastewater services. The program is slated to run through September of next year.
Eric Friedlander, secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services, said residents in every county will be able to get assistance.
"This is the first time that there's been a water and wastewater assistance program," Friedlander pointed out. "Some local communities have had a few, but this is the first time we've been able to do this statewide."
Kentuckians can apply for help paying water bills by contacting their local Community Action Agency. Find your agency online at kynect.ky.gov.
According to the National Energy Assistance Director's Association, consumers owed more than $23 billion in utility debt in 2021, up from $20 billion the previous year.
Friedlander noted unpaid bills can have ripple effects, further destabilizing struggling families.
"It's actually in some ways what's kept people out of housing, is that they've owed past water bills, and there hasn't been a lot of assistance for that," Friedlander observed. "This helps with that. This helps people stay in housing, which is what we really need to do."
Research showed low-income households spend around 16% of their budget on their water bills, and minimum-wage workers have to work around 10 hours per month just to pay for water services.
Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.
House Resolution 1319 (2021) 03/11/2021
Kynect.ky.gov Cabinet for Health and Family Services 2022
Utility debt Nat'l Energy Assistance Directors Assn. 01/22/2022
Affordability study American Water Works Assn. 08/04/2020
Cost analysis American Water Works Assn. 05/09/2019
get more stories like this via email
The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …
Democrats in the Florida Legislature are reviving calls for stricter gun-control laws, following the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. Florida's …
This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …
Health and Wellness
With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …
Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …
As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …
Health and Wellness
One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …
Advocates are contending the New York State Senate is not doing enough to lower the price of prescription drugs. Recently, lawmakers dropped bills …