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EVERETT – In an effort to assist more customers, the City of Everett has increased the annual assistance available to low-income customers under the City’s water utility discount program. The City has also increased the maximum household income allowed to qualify for the program, opening up the program to more Everett residents.
“We want to provide $100,000 in assistance each year, and it’s clear that we needed to change our eligibility thresholds in order to reach our goal,” said Paul Kaftanski, interim public works director. “We hope that by making these adjustments, we’ll open the program to more customers and bring more eligible customer accounts current.”
Under the new guidelines, customers with income up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level may be eligible for as much as $350 in assistance each year. Previously, the maximum household income was up to 125 percent of the federal poverty level and eligible customers qualified for up to $200 in annual assistance.
The City partnered with Catholic Community Services (CCS) in September 2017 to launch the pilot water utility discount program for qualifying residential Everett customers. CCS evaluates customer applications and provides customers with referrals for other services, as appropriate.
Over the past several months, CCS staff has helped connect customers with Veterans’ services, domestic violence assistance and dispute resolution and eviction prevention resources, in addition to utility assistance.
To qualify for the pilot program, residential customers must live within the city limits and have:
There is no disability or age requirement for the program, and customers do not need to own their property to qualify. Customers are able to apply each calendar year as necessary.
Water customers who are in imminent risk of water service disconnection should call the Everett Utilities (Water) Assistance Program line at 425-374-6394. CCS staff are available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the 1918 Everett Avenue location for in-person and telephone inquiries.
The City of Everett also offers discounts to seniors and disabled customers. More information about these and the pilot low-income utility discount program is available on the City’s website www.everettwa.gov/utilitybilling.