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Photo via Shutterstock
Photo via Shutterstock

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that low-income homeowners across New York City, including more than 23,000 in Queens, will be getting a bit of a break on their water and sewer bills.

The break will come in the form of a $115 credit that will automatically appear on recipients’ next water and sewer bill.

The NYC Water Board has also authorized an additional $250 credit for next year for multi-family buildings that meet certain criteria in affordability and conservation. NYC Water Board will also introduce an additional new credit for fiscal year 2018 to around 12,000 senior citizens whose combined annual income is less than $50,000.

“We are putting water rate relief directly into the hands of low-income homeowners and senior citizens across the city,” said de Blasio. “Maintaining reasonable water and sewer rates is a key piece of the affordability puzzle for hard-working New York families.”

The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) partners with the Human Resources Administration and the Department of Finance to identify residents who qualify for benefits such as this bill credit. The Housing Preservation and Development and the Housing Development Corporation also work with the DEP to identify eligible multi-family buildings that conserve water and enter into an agreement to keep rents affordable.

In the last decade, water and sewer bills for homeowners in New York City have steadily risen, with water rates rising from $1.81 per 100 cubic feet to $3.81 and sewer rates rising from $2.88 per 100 cubic feet to $6.06.

The Home Water Assistance Program is a plan of action by the Department of Environmental Protection first introduced in October 2014 designed to make water and sewer bills more affordable for low-income homeowners. In 2016, the program was expanded to also include low-income senior and disabled homeowners who receive a DOF property tax exemption.

“In New York City we know that every drop of water counts, but we also know that every dollar counts,” said DEP Acting Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “Over the last few years tens of thousands of low-income residents have benefitted from the Home Water Assistance Program and we are thrilled to now expand it to even more of our senior customers, while still keeping water and sewer rates affordable for all New Yorkers.”

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