Low Income Household Water Assistance

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

NC received more than $38 million to establish a household water assistance program. This program is federally funded. The household must have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program is called the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). The following households are eligible for the new federal program:

  • eligible households that have had their water services cut off
  • eligible households that have received notice. The notice must state that the household's water services are in danger of being cut off.

LIHWAP is a temporary emergency program helping eligible households and families afford:

  • water services
  • wastewater services

The program provides a one-time payment for eligible low-income households. The payment goes directly to the utility company. LIHWAP runs through September 2023, or until the funds run out.

Tara Myers, NCDHHS Deputy Secretary for Employment, Inclusion and Economic Stability was interviewed. "Due to the pandemic and its impact on our economy, many households are struggling. That includes a struggle to maintain their water service. The LIHWAP program will help NC families keep their water running. Water is a basic human need that’s critical for good sanitation and better health."

Services occur if there is a cut off, or danger of a cut off. The following households are automatically qualified:

  • currently receiving Food and Nutrition Services (FNS)
  • currently receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  • currently receiving Work First Services
  • received Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) Services. These services must have been received between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021.

How to Apply

Beginning January 1, 2022, all households not in danger of having water services cut off can apply. They must meet the eligibility requirements to apply for assistance. To be eligible for the LIHWAP program, a household must have at least one US citizen or non-citizen and:

  • Have income equal to or less than 150% of the federal poverty level
  • Have household services that are:
    • disconnected
    • in jeopardy of disconnection
    • currently on an outstanding bill
  • Be responsible for the water bill

Households can apply through September 30, 2023, or until the program exhausts funds.