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Permanent Low-Income Assistance Program Funding

April 29, 2024 - ​​The American Water Works Association (AWWA) strongly backs the proposed Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program Establishment Act, a bipartisan effort to provide permanent support for families struggling to afford essential water services.

Sponsored by U.S. Reps. Eric Sorensen (D-IL), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-OR), Kim Schrier (D-Wash.), and Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, the bill (H.R. 8032) mirrors Senate legislation introduced by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA). Both bills aim to permanently authorize the Department of Health and Human Services' Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP), initially established in 2020 to alleviate financial burdens on families facing high water bills.

LIHWAP has been a vital resource, assisting over 1.6 million households nationwide. However, the temporary program expired in 2023, jeopardizing water access for low-income families. This legislation also ensures affordable rates for ratepayers, aiding communities in upgrading critical water infrastructure.

The House bill echoes the Senate version, with an annual authorization level of $1.1 billion, matching current funding levels set to run out by July 2024.​

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