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CSD Provides $1.2 Million in Water Utility Assistance to Low-Income, Drought Impacted Households

Emergency Assistance Program Also Promotes Water Conservation

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Contact: Rachel Arrezola
916-576-0950
Rachel.Arrezola@csd.ca.gov

The California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) today announced an additional $600,000 available for the Drought Water Assistance Program Pilot Project. This brings the total funding for this emergency assistance program to $1.2 million to assist drought impacted, low-income households with residential water utility bills.

“Many low-income households already face hard decisions on how to stretch limited resources. Adding a job loss, reduced work hours or a water rate increase can mean these households have to choose what bills will get paid at the end of the month,” said CSD Director Linné Stout. “This infusion of funding will help assist more low-income households impacted by the drought by preventing disruption in water services.”

After hearing the local need, CSD created the Drought Water Assistance Program Pilot Project last year with a $600,000 grant under the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG). Previously, no state program offered emergency assistance with the primary focus of helping with water utility bills.

The program is available in 10 counties experiencing a high unemployment rate, high share of agricultural workers and designated to have “exceptional” drought conditions according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Classification System. Under last year’s $600,000 grant, 2,793 households received water bill assistance and water conservation education. The average water bill assistance payment was $183.

The following local CSBG agencies have been awarded $60,000 each under the additional grant this month to provide residential water financial assistance benefits and water conservation education to drought-impacted, low-income households. The agencies have partnered with local water providers to enhance the effectiveness of outreach and coordinate payment of current, past due and/or disconnected water utility bills. Eligible households will be asked to self-certify they have been impacted by the drought, such as a job loss or reduced hours.

Local Agency County Served
Community Services Employment Training (CSET) Tulare
Central Valley Opportunity Center (CVOC) Stanislaus
Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission Fresno
Community Action Partnership of Kern County Kern
Kings Community Action Organization Kings
Community Action Partnership of Madera County Madera
Merced Community Action Agency Merced
Monterey Community Action Partnership Monterey
County of San Benito Health and Human Services Agency San Benito
Community Action Board of Santa Cruz Santa Cruz
 
Governor Brown has called on all Californians to reduce their water use by 20 percent and prevent water waste – visit www.SaveOurWater.com for ideas about how to conserve, and visit Drought.CA.Gov to learn more about how California is dealing with the effects of the drought.

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