WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (MI-13) and Debbie Dingell (MI-12) welcomed the Biden-Harris Administration’s launch of the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), which would expand access to affordable water for low-income families, helping them to pay their bills and avoid shutoffs.
The Representatives have focused on increasing water accessibility and ensuring water is a human right throughout their time in Congress.
“The launch of LIHWAP is a significant step forward, but we need to do more to ensure water is a fundamental right for all Americans,” said Representative Dingell. “We need to take additional steps to permanently help families have access to clean, affordable water – from paying off debt to supporting with reconnection fees. Rep. Tlaib and I look forward to continuing this urgent work for families across the country.”
“Families across this country are still living without running water and millions remain at risk of shutoffs, and Rep. Dingell and I are eager to continue this urgent work to ensure no American ever has to go without water,” said Representative Tlaib. “LIHWAP is a solid start, but we can do more, like requiring reconnections for everyone regardless of the size of their debt and funding plumbing repairs that will prevent future unaffordable bills and break the shutoff cycle. We must always take our opportunities to attack the root causes of water insecurity and leverage federal dollars for the long-term solutions our residents deserve.”
As of today, $166.6 million out of the $1.1 billion in overall funding for the LIHWAP is available to eligible households and families. Michigan is slated to receive $36.2 million. For more information about the LIHWAP, please visit the LIHWAP webpage.
Tlaib and Dingell have led on water accessibility in Congress. Last year, they secured an addition of $1.5 billion in grants to low-income households to be used for drinking water and wastewater services in the HEROES Act, as well as in the FY2021 appropriations bill that was signed into law. This year, they introduced legislation to address the water debt crisis and legislation to establish a permanent residential emergency relief program for public water systems. They’ve also urged for a federal response to water shutoffs during the pandemic last year.