Detroit water department hosts affordability fair

Event to help customers with financial hardships

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DETROIT - The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department will host a Water Affordability Fair on Aug. 2.

The event aims to assist customers with financial hardships.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Eastside Customer Service Center located at 13303 E. McNichols, near Gratiot.

However, the downtown Customer Service Center location normally open on Saturdays will be closed on Aug. 2 to staff the affordability event.

The Water Affordability Fair will help DWSD reach customers with a demonstrated financial hardship who need assistance paying their water bills.

Customers also will be able to pay their water bills and also set up payment plan agreements onsite.

"Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated," said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director. "In cases where the water has been shut off, it's been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for them to receive that help."

In addition to DWSD payment plans, there are several organizations that provide assistance to those who need financial assistance with their water bill.

As of July, the Detroit Residential Water Assistance Program (DRWAP) had $1.06 million to assist low-income customers. Currently, Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE) has assisted 8,161 customers, totaling $1.7 million in assistance; Wayne Metropolitan Community Action has assisted 903 DWSD customers, totaling close to $1 million. Each program offers assistance ranging from $500 to $2,000. DWSD has more than 17,000 customers participating in payment agreement plans.

Customers seeking assistance may contact the following organizations in advance of the Water Affordability Fair.

- DWSD Budget Plans/ Water Access Volunteer Effort (WAVE) (313) 267-8000

- Detroit Residential Water Assistance Program (877) 646-2831

- Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (734) 284-6999

DWSD has three customer service locations in Detroit. The locations are:

Downtown Customer Service Center - Water Board Building
735 Randolph Street, First Floor (enter off Bates Street) Monday through Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., (Closed Saturday, August 2, 2014)

Eastside Customer Service Center
13303 E. McNichols (1 1/2 blocks west of Gratiot) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Westside Customer Service Center
15600 Grand River (1 block west of Greenfield) Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Customers can also reach DWSD's Call Center on Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. at (313) 267-8000.

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