Fair Payment Policy Coming For Low-Income Residents Who Can't Afford Winter Water, PWSA Board Says

Oct 12, 2017

A new policy to help low-income residents pay their water bills during the winter months is in the works, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority board members said Thursday. 

The PWSA's recently formed affordability committee will help develop the fair payment policy.

The board considered a complete moratorium last month on water shutoffs between December and March for low-income residents who can't pay their bills but also rely on radiators heat their homes.

PWSA board member Deb Gross said that moratorium is still on the table, and the authority is looking to correct the accuracy and validity of the payment system for the future.

"While we're doing that kind of work we also have asked the administration here to figure out a way that people can be relieved of having their water shut off," Gross said.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported last year the authority sent nearly 50,000 inaccurate bills to customers. A city-hired consultant is expected to present final recommendations in November about how to restructure the authority. IMG, Inc.'s Steve Steckler called it "a failed organization atop a dangerous and crumbling structure."

"We have a much bigger job in front of us that will take us probably from now until next Spring to really figure out how we're structuring the costs of this system and how we cover those costs fairly for all Pittsburghers so they can actually pay their bills," Gross said.

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