Governor Tony Evers announced that $ 18 million in funding was available under the Low Income Households Water Supply Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to provide water service assistance to families of Wisconsin.
The program was authorized as part of an emergency effort to respond to COVID-19 and marks the first time that these water assistance funds have been made available to residents of Wisconsin.
“We know the people of Wisconsin are overloaded with businesses facing supply chain issues and Wisconsin families seeing the costs in their daily lives rise, and we want them to know that help is out. available, especially now during the winter season, âGovernor Evers said. “These essential funds will help alleviate some of the financial stresses families face and ensure that people have the resources they need to make ends meet.”
To date, $ 86,176,302 in benefits has been paid to 20,096 households for rental, utility and other housing assistance needs through the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance (WERA) program, and Since the start of the heating season in October, the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) has provided benefits to 74,765 households for a total of $ 41,027,864. The average heating and electricity benefits are respectively $ 392 and $ 182.
“WWe want to make sure the people of Wisconsin know that you can get help paying for water, energy, internet and rent,“ Wisconsin Department of Administration secretary Joel Brennan said. “No one should be left without heat or the means to pay their bills during the holiday season.“
The DOA works with Energy Services, Inc. (ESI) to receive LIHWAP requests. Eligibility is based on household income, household size, and household water and utility burden. Residents may be eligible if they earn 60% of the state’s median income level or less. Applicants eligible for LIHWAP must first apply and qualify for WHEAP. Residents of Wisconsin interested in applying should call 2-1-1 or 1-800-506-5595.
“We want people to know that anyone who meets the income criteria and needs help should apply for water, energy or rental help,“ DOA Energy, Housing and Community Resources Division administrator Susan Brown said. “You can apply even if you haven’t had COVID-19 or have not become ill. So many families have lost hours, lost wages, or seen their costs rise for the basic things they need to survive during the pandemic. Many individuals and households can qualify and should call 2-1-1 or 800-506-5595– do not wait.
Rent and additional utility assistance are also available through the WERA program. The DOA has partnered with Wisconsin Community Action Agencies and ESI to accept requests and distribute rental, internet, and utility assistance.