Close to 52,000 low-income, senior or disabled homeowners throughout the city will receive an automatic credit of $115.89 on their next water bill, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection announced last week.
The credit — which is expected to save qualified participants about 25 percent on their annual bill — is part of the Home Water Assistance Program, which was introduced in 2014.
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"The holidays can be expensive — and this credit will provide some much-needed relief to low-income, senior, and disabled homeowners,” de Blasio said. “Our Home Water Assistance Program is just one way in which we’ve focused on providing relief to New York City’s water customers — from the lowest water rate increase in over a decade, to freezing the minimum charge."
A total of 12,500 homeowners who qualified for the Federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) last year received the credit. Now the DEP is expanding the program to individuals who are recipients of the Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption or a Disabled Homeowners Exemption for property taxes.
DEP partnered with the Human Resources Administration (HRA) and Department of Finance to identify one- to four- family homeowners who received a HEAP or low-income property tax benefit this year.
"The expansion of this credit helps an increased number of homeowners who are low-income seniors or have disabilities pay their water bills, and supports our overall efforts to address income inequality for the most vulnerable New Yorkers," said Steve Banks, HRA Commissioner.
To receive the credit, homeowners — who are identified as qualified participants — do not have to do anything because the credit will appear on the next water and sewer bill.