Lehigh County Authority offers grants to customers struggling to pay water bills

Written by on February 2, 2021

Lehigh County Authority offers grants to customers struggling to pay water bills

By Genesis Ortega

February 2, 2021

Lehigh County Government Center.

While many people are still struggling to pay their utility bills during the pandemic, Lehigh County Authority is setting up a fund to help keep the water on for some folks who really need it. 

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According to the Lehigh County Authority (LCA), there are as many as 3,300 homes in our region that are in danger of having their water shut off for not making payments. 

Liesel Gross, chief executive officer of the LCA, says it’s setting up a fund to help. 

“Our average account that’s up for service termination owes about $400. So this program likely will be a good fit for the average customer,” Gross says. 

Customers who qualify will receive a grant from a $500,000 fund created by an interest rate refinancing windfall. Dollar Energy Fund, which manages similar programs with other utility companies, will manage relief distribution. 

At the same time, Gross says the water authority plans to resume shut-offs in March for the first time since the start of the pandemic.  

“That’s where we would get into potentially offering payment plans or other arrangements to help them maybe spread it out over a period of time, and get them back in good standing,” Gross says. 

About a quarter of Allentown’s population lives below the federal poverty line and could qualify for the program.

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