CONTACT: Michael Globetti, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
DNREC Environmental Finance, DPH Office of Drinking Water,
Water Infrastructure Advisory Council announce additional
subsidization assistance program for low-income subgroups
DOVER (June 15, 2016) – DNREC Environmental Finance, the Division of Public Health’s Office of Drinking Water and the Water Infrastructure Advisory Council (WIAC) announced today that additional financial assistance is available for low-income subgroups within new wastewater and drinking water project areas financed by the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (CWSRF) and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (DWSRF) programs. Approved municipal grantees must agree to administer the additional financial assistance program for low-income residential wastewater and/or drinking water users within identified project areas.
Municipalities that have existing CWSRF and DWSRF loans that were closed after August 19, 2015 are eligible to apply for additional assistance. A grant application must be submitted to DNREC Environmental Finance for review and consideration by WIAC. Approved municipal grantees must sign a five-year grant agreement that will include but not be limited to the following program requirements:
• Inform residential wastewater and/or drinking water users regarding the availability of the assistance program to assist low-income households with paying utility bills;
• Offer, process, and approve grant assistance applications for residential utility users (the assistance program can be combined with existing municipal utility assistance programs);
• Establish and maintain necessary administrative and accounting procedures for program implementation and reporting;
• Submit grant reimbursement requests (no more than monthly) to DNREC for approved residential utility users;
• Agree to safeguard and ensure the confidentiality of personal information submitted by residential utility users applying for and receiving grant assistance; and
• Agree to periodic meeting and program audits of all records and accounts associated with the assistance program.
Assistance program grants, regardless of the size of a low-income subgroup population, cannot exceed $200,000 for drinking water, or $200,000 for wastewater services, respectively. Approved municipal grantees must ensure allocated assistance program grants will last for at least five years, regardless of the addition or deletion of assistance accounts for eligible residential utility users. The average number of assistance accounts per year; and the amount of assistance per household for drinking water and/or wastewater servicers combined are the following:
• Assistance must be made available on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to the number of low-income accounts that can be supported.
• Average number of assistance accounts per year: 200 or 400 accounts (combined – drinking water and wastewater services) that can be supported over five years.
• Amount of annual assistance per household: $200 or $400 (combined drinking water and wastewater services) that can be supported over five years.
DNREC will use data from the US Census - American FactFinder, and other data sources to help municipal grantees estimate the number of low-income households within CWSF- and/or DWSRF-project areas to initially allocate subgroup assistance program grants. Residential utility user eligibility for the assistance program is based on the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) state low-income levels subject to annual revision. In addition, residential utility user households must meet the following criteria:
• Applicant must be a year-round resident of the home;
• Liquid assets (cash, stocks, bonds, saving, etc.) and real estate, other than owner-occupied home must be less than $15,000;
• No delinquent taxes (municipal, county, or state);
• No delinquent drinking water or wastewater service bills
The assistance program is limited to new drinking water and/or wastewater project areas that address environmental compliance, public health, and safety. (Low-income subgroups located in project areas where the main purpose is growth-related are not eligible for the assistance program.) For more information about subsidization assistance program for low-income subgroups, please contact DNREC Environmental Finance, 302-739-9941, or visit DNREC EF’s website.
Vol. 46, No. 216