Income-eligible Metro Detroit residents encouraged to apply for assistance
The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) has launched the Water Residential Assistance Program (WRAP), the first sustainable assistance program focused solely on residential water services in the state of Michigan. In its first year, the WRAP is expected to provide $4.5 million to residents across southeast Michigan. Income-eligible Metro Detroit residents can begin the enrollment process by calling (313) 386-WRAP (9727) or visiting www.waynemetro.org/WRAP
Unlike assistance programs in the past that rely on outside sources for funding, the WRAP has a dedicated source, with the potential to continue in perpetuity. A half-percent of all GWLA revenue will be dedicated to the WRAP. As revenues increase for the authority, so too will the available amount in the WRAP program.
“In addition to bill payment assistance, the WRAP provides educational programs and funding to fix leaks and other minor home plumbing repairs,” said Sue McCormick, CEO, GLWA. “It truly is one of the most complete solutions that not only supports consumers in need, but also aims to put them on a pathway towards self-sufficiency. When we strengthen one part of the system, we strengthen the system as a whole. We are proud to be able to offer our customer communities this solution.”
The initial allocation of WRAP funds will be distributed to the city of Detroit, Wayne, Macomb and Oakland Counties. The total amount each area will receive is the same proportion of revenue it pays into the WRAP. This is to ensure an equitable distribution among all customer communities.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR RECIPIENTS
To qualify for the WRAP program, participants must meet the following requirements:
- Have income at or below the 150% federal poverty threshold;
- Be residential customers of the GLWA service area, with first priority to customers who have a past due bill and/or are in active shut off;
- Provide proof of residency or provide renter’s proof of responsibility for water on lease;
- Customers with water usage 20% or more above average must participate in a home water audit and install water conservation measures; and
- Stay current on monthly bill payment for 12 months.
At the time of program enrollment, the program administrator will work with local communities to suspend customer shut off and freeze arrearages. Qualified participants are also eligible to receive:
- Payment assistance up to $1,000 per household per year — $25 per month towards a bill credit, and assistance with arrears;
- Home repairs up to $1,000 per household to fix plumbing issues causing high usage;
- Water saving kits and consumer training classes; and
- Supportive WRAP-around services, which include referrals to energy, food and clothing assistance program.
The program is administrated by Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, in collaboration with a total of five community action associations to ensure that all customers within the GLWA service area will have access to WRAP resources—that’s 126 communities throughout seven different counties in southeast Michigan.
ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES WATER AUTHORITY (GLWA)
The Great Lakes Water Authority (GLWA) was established in November 2014 to provide water and waste water services to 126 municipalities in seven Southeastern Michigan counties. On January 1, 2016, GLWA assumed operational, infrastructure improvements, environmental compliance and budget-setting responsibilities for the regional water and sewage treatment plants, major water transmission mains and sewage interceptors, and related facilities. The organization leases these facilities from the City of Detroit for an allocation of $50 million per year fund capital improvements for the City of Detroit retail system and/or debt obligations. GLWA also will fund a Water Residential Assistance Program to assist low-income residential customers throughout the system. The GLWA board includes one representative each from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties as well as two representatives from the City of Detroit, and one from the State of Michigan to represent customer communities outside the tri-county area.