Benton Harbor Resident Assistance Program with their Water Bills | Michigan News

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) – State officials on Wednesday announced a pilot program to help eligible residents of a Michigan city where there has been a major crisis pay their water and gas bills. waste.

The federally funded program is designed to help households whose water has been disconnected or who are facing a disconnection pay to restore it. This includes other related potential costs, including garbage, cable, and the Internet, according to the Michigan Department of Human Services and Benton Harbor.

“Access to safe drinking water is fundamental for the health and well-being of all,” state agency director Elizabeth Hertel said in a press release. “The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program will provide essential emergency support to skilled residents of Benton Harbor, so they are not forced to choose between paying for water services and other necessities. “

To be eligible, residents must, among other things, meet the income criteria.

Much of the city’s water distribution system is around 100 years old. The predominantly black, mostly low-income community is located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from Chicago.

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has pledged to spend millions of dollars to replace lead service lines.

The state continues to provide bottled water for cooking and drinking. Additionally, the US Environmental Protection Agency has announced plans to test water in hundreds of homes to verify certified filters provided to residents by the state to remove lead from drinking water.

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