The state of Maryland is investing $20 million in taxpayer fudning into the Water Assistance Relief Program to support those residents with water bill debt that is directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Larry Hogan said.

Funding, according to the release, comes from federal Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Funds.

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“We continue to provide ways – especially during the winter months – to help residents who may have difficulty with their water or heating bills,” Hogan said in a news release. “Water systems are encouraged to apply for this funding to ensure savings for customers in the coming months.”

The program, according to the release, features an application period that opens Monday and closes Jan. 31.

According to the release, conditions are in place for those receiving program funding, and water systems are mandated to agree to allocate payments in the form of bill credits. The credits are to appear on a customer’s bill within a specific number of days after receiving payment while waiving late fees and interest.

Credits, according to the release, are designed to cover outstanding debt for residential customers incurred between January 2020 and September 2022.

The state offers assistance through three year-round programs, according to the release, which are administered through the Department of Human Services’ Office of Home Energy Programs. The programs are designed to help with utility bills and prevent any loss of service, including the Maryland Energy Assistance Program, the Electric Universal Service Program, and the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program.

Brent Addleman

Brent Addleman is an Associate Editor and a veteran journalist with more than 25 years of experience. He has served as editor of newspapers in Pennsylvania and Texas, and has also worked at newspapers...

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