Department of Public Works Offering More Help for More Customers with Baltimore H2O Assists

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There’s a new way to make water bills more affordable for some of our customers who need help!

Baltimore H2O Assists is a water billing support program that goes into effect July 1, 2019. Also known as BH2O Assists, it combines the best of existing assistance programs (rate reductions, fee waivers, income-based eligibility) and provides this help before customers fall behind on their bills.

An added benefit, BH2O+, provides households whose income is at or below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $10,665 for a household of 3) a credit, set currently at $236, applied over 12 months. That builds in an extra level of affordability for the City’s neediest households.

Here are a few key facts to know about BH2O Assists:

  1. Customers will be eligible if their income is at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, the same as many other assistance programs. There is no age restriction.
  2. Customers whose household size is from 1 to 3 persons are eligible if their income is at or below the 3-person household amount ($37,328).
  3. Eligibility for households larger than 3 people will be based on the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  4. Registration for BH2O Assists will be handled at the five Community Action Partnership Centers in Baltimore, beginning July 1, 2019.
  5. Customers enrolled in existing Senior Citizens or Hardship water billing assistance programs on June 1, 2019, will automatically be enrolled in the BH2O Assists program.
  6. Charges for water and sewer usage will be discounted 43%.
  7. The Bay Restoration and Stormwater Remediation fees will not be applied to bills.
  8. The BH2O+ program offers households whose income is at or below 50% of the Federal Poverty Level (currently $10,665 for a household of 3*) a credit, set currently at $236, applied over 12 months. As water rates adjust, the credit will be adjusted to match the new rates.
  9. Enrollment will last for 12 months. A reminder to re-enroll will be sent before the enrollment expires.

Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young also announced that independent reviewers will be available to work with customers on billing disputes that customers wish to escalate from DPW’s own bill review process. Further details about that program will be available soon.

This chart is based on Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2019.

Household Size

50% Poverty Level

Poverty Level

175% Poverty Level

1-3

$10,665

$21,330

$37,328

4

$12,875

$25,750

$45,063

Each additional person

Add $2,210

Add $4,420

Add $7,735

 

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