Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced the launch of the Water4All discount program, a new program designed to provide more equitable access to financial assistance for eligible Baltimore City residents who need help paying their water bills. This new water assistance program provides a monthly discount for water and sewer costs based on a percentage of residents’ income. For the first time, tenants who do not directly pay their water bills are eligible to apply for water payment assistance.
“Today’s announcement ties directly into my priority pillar for ensuring the Responsible Stewardship of City Resources. The City’s new Water4All discount program is an important step towards building a more equitable Baltimore for all, tenants and homeowners alike, providing comprehensive protection for City residents,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “As City Council President, I worked alongside advocates to lead the fight to pass the Water Accountability & Equity Act for the benefit of Baltimore families. And as Mayor, I have made sure that advocates have remained at the table as we worked to provide a water discount program that makes water costs affordable for City residents. I am truly honored to announce the launch of this first-of-its-kind water assistance program aimed at assisting the City’s most vulnerable residents.”
The Water4All assistance program was created under the comprehensive Water Accountability and Equity Act that provides assistance, rights, and protections for water and wastewater customers.
“The Department of Public Works is excited to launch the new Water4All discount program, expanding water access and equity for our residents in support of Mayor Scott’s vision,” said DPW Director Jason W. Mitchell. “DPW is pleased to continue our critical partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Children and Family Success to enroll residents in the new Water4All program, maximizing our ability to reach those in need of financial assistance to cover water costs. Providing affordable, high-quality drinking water and wastewater services to Baltimore City residents remains among our highest priorities.”
The innovative Water4All program uses a formula to calculate the maximum amount residents should pay for annual water and sewer services, based on a percentage of their annual household income. The maximum percentage could be 1 percent, 2 percent, or 3 percent, depending on income and household size. The difference between this calculated maximum amount and a resident’s estimated annual water and sewer bill amount would determine their annual discount.
The water discount program is open to Baltimore City residents with income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level guidelines. That would be close to $53,000 a year for a four-member household.
In addition, residents must be:
- Homeowners whose name is on the water bill.
- Tenants whose name is on the water bill and who pay the city directly for water and sewer services.
- Tenants whose name is NOT on the water bill, who do NOT pay the City directly for water and sewer service, and who can provide both:
- A lease that clearly states the tenant is responsible for paying water and sewer services separately from the rent; and
- A lease that clearly states the amount to be paid monthly by the tenant for those services or a copy of the monthly invoice for water and sewer services from the landlord or the landlord’s management company.
Now Accepting Applications
The Water4All Program is fully operational and accepting applications. A fillable application is available online. Applicants who wish to receive a paper copy can call 410-396-5555.
Residents who have completed the Water4All “Expression of Interest form” (EOI) should use the Water4All (WFA) reference identification (ID) they were given when applying for the new assistance program.
“We are excited to announce the Water4All discount program to Baltimore City residents who may be experiencing significant or additional economic burdens and need utility assistance,” said Deputy Mayor of Equity, Health, and Human Services Faith P. Leach. “Utilities can be an ongoing challenge for some residents which is why this discount will help to provide vital relief to those that need it most.”
Water4All replaces the BH2O Assists and BH2O Plus assistance programs. Residents currently enrolled in one of these two programs are encouraged to apply for assistance under Water4All. Residents who continue to use BH2O assistance will need to apply for Water4All before the end of their annual BH2O coverage to receive uninterrupted water and sewer billing assistance.
Additional information about Water4All is available online.