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DES MOINES — As part of an ongoing effort to address the financial impact of COVID-19, Iowa has received over $10 million in federal aid to help households that have fallen behind in water bills and are facing disconnection of service or have already been disconnected.

The new federal Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program will provide assistance in the form of benefit payments made directly to water vendors on behalf of households for past-due charges, fees, and taxes for drinking and wastewater services. The program will be administered by the Iowa Department of Human Rights and locally through Iowa’s Community Action Agencies that serve all 99 counties.

Iowans may apply now by contacting their local Community Action Agency. To locate the agency nearest you, visit https://humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply or call the Iowa Department of Human Rights at (515) 242-3861.

Program eligibility mirrors that of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, meaning applicants must qualify to receive federal LIHEAP benefits, total household income must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines, and a current water crisis must be present.

The application period is open year-round. LIHWAP will run through Sept. 30, 2023, or until funds are exhausted.

To learn more about LIHWAP, visit https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ocs/programs/lihwap or contact your local community action agency.

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