Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWA)
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance (LIHWA) Program was established by Congress through the appropriation of $638M in the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) of 2021 and an additional $500M in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021. Federal administration is through the Office of Community Services (OCS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) has been designated as the State of Oregon Grantee.
OHCS has been working diligently through a values-based planning process with water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, the Community Action Agency network, and culturally responsive organizations construct the LIHWA Program for the state. Oregon will receive a total of $13.8 million to provide LIHWA assistance to low-income households who have a high water burden. Payments will go directly to the owners and operators of water and wastewater utilities. Households will apply for assistance through their local Community Action Agency.
OCS approved the LIHWA State Plan for Oregon, which OHCS submitted on August 9th, 2021. Anticipating several weeks to initiate grant agreements with the Community Action Agencies and vendor agreements with the water and wastewater utilities, OHCS expects LIHWA assistance should be available in January 2022.
For general information and updates from OCS, click here.
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