Skip to main content

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Community Services (OCS) celebrated the first full year of Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) implementation. LIHWAP provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. In Fiscal Year 2022, grant recipients and partners, including many AMWA member utilities, served approximately 400,000 households.

On behalf of the milestone, OCS released the FY 2022 LIHWAP Snapshot to highlight the program’s impact to date. This snapshot includes data on the number of households served, services provided, and water service provider partnerships initiated. The Snapshot also includes short spotlight stories from grant recipients across the country.

Congress established LIHWAP in 2020 as part of COVID-19 relief legislation and boosted funding for the program as part of the American Rescue Plan enacted in March 2021. However, HHS had been slow in getting the program off the ground as it worked to flesh out the direction provided by lawmakers.

In addition to supporting LIHWAP, in October AMWA wrote top House and Senate appropriators to request strong fiscal year 2023 (FY23) funding for EPA’s State Revolving Fund (SRF) programs, as well as EPA’s Rural and Low-Income Customer Assistance Pilot Program, a newly authorized initiative to help low-income households pay their water and wastewater bills.

The letter asked Congress to “provide the highest levels of federal investment for water infrastructure programs in the FY23 Omnibus Appropriations package,” with a special focus on the Drinking Water and Clean Water SRFs and EPA’s low-income assistance pilot program that was authorized as part of last year’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Lawmakers are expected to approve the final FY23 omnibus spending bill this week before Congress adjourns for the year.