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Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program


NOTICE: Federal funds have been exhausted for LIHWA. Households cannot receive LIHWA benefits at this time.

In 2021, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program was originally 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 was through the Office of Community Services (OCS) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) was designated as the State of Oregon grantee.

OHCS worked diligently through a values-based planning process with water and wastewater utilities, utility associations, the community action agency network, and culturally responsive organizations to construct the LIHWA Program for the state. Oregon received $13.8 million to provide LIHWA assistance to low-income households who had high water burdens. Payments went directly to the owners and operators of water and wastewater utilities. Households applied for assistance through their local community action agency.

Local administration of LIHWA assistance began in January 2022 and, as of March 31st, 2024, all funding has been exhausted. OHCS will communicate when additional funds, from the same or other sources, become available to continue administration of the LIHWA Program.

General information and updates can be found on the OCS website

Sign up to receive email updates and be sure to check the box for “Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program" to follow this program's implementation.

​The Low-Income Household Water Assistance (LIHWA) Program, which was originally funded with temporary federal assistance, was designed to provide low-income households with assistance for their drinking water and wastewater services costs. As additional funds become available, the LIHWA Program will reopen. Households who are at or below 60% state median income (SMI) were income eligible for the program. Required income documentation was similar to that of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Eligible water and wastewater utilities included those that provide service to permanent residential communities. Eligible household accounts were those considered direct service (as compared to payment through landlords). LIHWA assistance payments were paid directly to these utilities on behalf of eligible households to reconnect services, avert disconnection of services, and pay past-due amounts and current charges.

Effective March 29th, 2024, the federal funds that supported the Low-Income Household Water Assistance (LIHWA) Program had been exhausted.  As a recommendation, your local Community Action Agencies may have resources available to assist with heating and cooling costs to help relieve some burden.  It is also recommended to communicate regularly with your water and wastewater providers and seek other community assistance for water from smaller independent programs or local outreach organizations (St. Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, churches, or community groups, etc.) If you are unfamiliar with your local Community Action Agency, please use the link below to locate your county, then find the agencies' contact information to request assistance. 


Oregon Housing and Community Services : Utility Bill Payment Assistance : Energy & Weatherization (WX) : State of Oregon

​To be eligible for water assistance, a household's income must be at or below 6​​0% of Oregon's median income. See the table below. The program bases these income levels on household income and household size.

Income Guidelines for Oregon (Program Year 2024)
(October 1, 2023- September 30, 2024)
60% of State Median Income by Household Size
for use in Federal Fiscal Year 2024
Estimated State Median by Household Size - Source HHS

Household Unit SizeAnnual Gross Income*Monthly Gross Income*
Each Additional Member​​$1,929
* Gross Income means all household income before any deductions