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File #: 200385    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 6/18/2020 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 6/25/2020
Title: Calling upon the Congress to enact and fund a national, sustainable water affordability plan similar to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ("LIHEAP").
Sponsors: Councilmember Green, Councilmember Gilmore Richardson, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Gauthier, Councilmember Bass, Councilmember Brooks, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Henon
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 20038500, 2. Signature20038500
Title
Calling upon the Congress to enact and fund a national, sustainable water affordability plan similar to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ("LIHEAP").

Body
WHEREAS, Recognizing that access to clean, safe water is essential to sustaining life, rising retail water rates nationwide are profoundly concerning, leading municipal and county officials across the United States to support a robust federal subsidy as the most appropriate way to avoid the negative impacts to health, welfare, and safety that a widespread loss of water access would cause; and

WHEREAS, The impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic have reemphasized the need for a federally funded sustainable water affordability plan, including a water rate subsidy program for low-income ratepayers, modeled after LIHEAP; and

WHEREAS, The need for a subsidy to support long term, sustainable and affordable access to water and sewerage services for the benefit of low income residential customers will not end after the pandemic is better controlled, because unaffordability of these services for the poor is a feature of the water industry's existing rate structure as well as a permanent menace to public health; and

WHEREAS, The LIHEAP program receives and expends approximately $3.5 billion annually to support gas and electric heating utility costs for low income residents throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, Based on the same realities that lead the federal government to recognize the need to support low income families by subsidizing energy, it is time to also provide a robust federal subsidy for the precious resource of clean and safe drinking water; and

WHEREAS, While there are sporadic calls for municipalities to become the "water bank" and provide free or subsidized water, the federal government is the proper entity to fund necessary water subsidies for low income families, as demonstrated by the popular and successful LIHEAP program; and

WHEREAS, Going forward, with adequate fe...

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