Low-income residents in Santa Barbara will soon be eligible to receive up to $15,000 towards current or past-due water and wastewater bills through the federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

City council voted 5-0 to take part in the state-ran program,  allowing residents earning less than $62,313 for a family of four to receive a one-time payment between $2,000 and $15,000. The program is aimed at helping the city tackle a growing past-due balance among customers since the pandemic.

It is estimated that there are about 1500 residential customers owing a total of $2.27 million on water and wastewater bills. The city plans to reinstate late fees for utility bills in July 2023 and disconnections for water and wastewater bill non-payment in September 2023.


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