Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP)

Photo by Kaboompics .com from Pexels

This is a new program currently under development and funding is not available at this time to assist low-income households. Please check this webpage frequently for updates.

 

Overview

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a new program funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services (HHS-OCS). The purpose of the program is to provide emergency assistance to low-income households for drinking water and wastewater services.

The priorities of the LIHWAP are to help low-income households restore household water services, reduce arrearages, and reduce rate charges.

Visit the federal HHS-OCS LIHWAP webpage.

 

Implementation Plan

A draft Implementation Plan with details on the proposed administration of Alabama’s LIHWAP is now available for a 10-day comment period. Please submit your comments to Ms. Jennifer Lee at jennifer.lee@adeca.alabama.gov by close of business on Wednesday, July 28, 2021. Following the comment period, the Implementation Plan will be submitted to HHS-OCS for approval.

2021 LIHWAP Model Plan

 

How to Apply for Assistance

To expedite the establishment of the new LIHWAP program, ADECA will follow the federal recommendation to mirror the processes and procedures of another program we administer called the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Similar to LIHEAP, ADECA will subcontract with community action agencies throughout the state to accept and process applications from low-income households. If a household is eligible, the community action agency will mail a payment directly to the water and/or wastewater system which will be credited to the household’s account.

The target population is low-income households, especially those with the lowest incomes and the highest drinking water and wastewater costs or needs in relation to income, taking into account the family size. Additional targets are low-income households with members who are especially vulnerable, including the elderly, persons with disabilities, and young children.

In order to receive assistance, the applicant’s household income must not exceed 150 percent of the federally established poverty level.

This webpage will be updated in the near future with more information on how to apply.

 

When to Apply for Assistance

The Governor will issue a News Release when funds are made available to the community action agencies, and this webpage will be updated with information on when low-income households can apply. Currently, the tentative start date is set for November 2021.

At this time, LIHWAP has not been authorized as a permanent program, and the last day to apply will be September 30, 2023.

 

Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems

All drinking water and wastewater systems that are interested in participating in LIHWAP will be required to enter into a vendor agreement with ADECA.

On July 29, 2021, HHS-OCS disseminated the Dear Colleague Letter below to invite water and wastewater utility vendors to the upcoming introduction webinar on August 12 from 2:00 to 3:00 (Central Time).  The link to pre-register for the webinar is included in the letter:

HHS Invitation to Water Utility Vendors webinar (PDF)

Please check this webpage frequently for updates.