EVERETT — Help might be available for people in Everett struggling to pay their water bills.
More people are now qualified for the water utilities discount program after the city increased the amount they can earn.
To qualify, a single person would make $18,210 or less per year, with $6,480 more per additional person. That works out to 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Qualified participants might see their water bill shrink by up to $350 per year.
The program launched September 2017. It is a partnership between the city and Catholic Community Services.
“We want to provide $100,000 in assistance each year, and it’s clear that we needed to change our eligibility thresholds in order to reach our goal,” interim public works director Paul Kaftanski said.
Between September and December 2017, the program paid $6,427.23 in utility bills, said Sarah Jayne Barrett, the Catholic Community Services director of housing.
Funding comes from Everett’s utilities budget.
To qualify, customers must live in Everett, have a water bill in their name and have received a disconnection notice for nonpayment.
Once someone receives a notice, they should immediately contact Catholic Community Services, Monday through Wednesday, at 1918 Everett Ave., or call 425-374-6394. The organization then works with the city to suspend water disconnection.
“Water seems like a small thing, but helping people get one more bill off their plate has been huge,” Barrett said.
Stephanie Davey: 425-339-3192; firstname.lastname@example.org.