DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — A regional board is launching a program to help low-income customers of Detroit’s water system.

Residents in the Great Lakes Water Authority service area can begin the enrollment process Tuesday for the $4.5 million Water Residential Assistance Program.

Qualifications include having an income at or below the 150-percent federal poverty threshold. First priority will be given to customers who have past due bills or are in the process of having their water service disconnected.

Qualified participants also are eligible to receive payment assistance up to $1,000 per household per year, help with past bills and water saving kits.

Bryan Peckinpaugh with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says shutoffs will resume in the spring, so it’s important that those who need help apply now.

“We haven’t set a date for potential water shutoffs because we certainly want to focus on launching this water residential assistance program and then get as many customers who are eligible into this program,” Peckinpaugh said.

Detroit’s water system serves about 700,000 city residents and 4 million people in southeastern Michigan.

The water department faced protests in 2014 following shutoffs of delinquent accounts.

For more information about the assistance program visit http://www.waynemetro.org/WRAP or call 313-386-9727.

 

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