PONTIAC (WWJ) – Residents in eight Oakland County communities can now apply to receive help paying their water bills.

The Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency said residents in select communities are now able to get aid through the Water Residential Assistance Program. The program, which launched in March, aims to alleviate the burden of high water bills while helping to ensure that water is readily available for all families.

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Residents in the following communities are eligible to apply for assistance: Pontiac, Keego Harbor, Bingham Farms, Ferndale, Orchard Lake, Farmington Hills, Commerce Township, and Orion Township. Officials say other communities in Oakland County have shown interest but have yet to sign up for the program.

“There is a huge need for this program as we have seen community members struggle with water bills and shut-offs in our community for years now,” Ron Borngesser, OLHSA CEO, said in a statement. “The implementation of this program is an important step in ensuring that access to water is a right, and not a luxury.”

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Benefits for qualifying individuals can include bill assistance up to $1,000 per household per year, home water audits for households with above average water usage, home repairs up to $1,000 to fix minor plumbing issues that are causing high water usage, water saving kits, training classes, and access to other services offered through OLHSA.

To qualify for the program, residents must have an income at or below 150 percent of poverty threshold; provide proof of residency and income; provide renter’s proof of responsibility for water on lease; and stay current on monthly bill payment.

Residents of participating communities can make an appointment at OLHSA by phone at 313-386-WRAP (9727) or online at waynemetro.org/wrap.

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