What a mess in Detroit… FYI, according to the Free Press, the average Detroit water bill is now $75 a month — much higher than the nation’s average rate of about $40. For the record, I have never paid a $40 water bill and never will pay a $75 a month water bill especially in Detroit. That’s insane.
DETROIT, MI — An $800,000 program to help low-income Detroiters pay their water bills will be put in place in July after services were cut off from some residents in recent months and complaints were made to a United Nations representative, officials said Tuesday.
With about 90,000 city residents and businesses behind on their water bills, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in March began more aggressively collecting debt.
In May, about 46,000 notices were delivered to non-paying customers and water was cut off to about 4,500 of them, said DWSD spokesman Gregory Eno.
With 24 hours of the shutoffs, 2,700 of them paid or made arrangements to make payments and had services restored, Eno said.
“This is not an effort to shut peoples water off,” he said. “The effort is to collect that debt and get folks to enter into payment arrangements… DWSD is basically trying to put a dent into the bad debt, i.e. delinquent bills.”
Last week, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Detroit People’s Water Board and the Canada-based Blue Planet Project sent a letter to Catarina de Albuquerque, special rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The letter expressed outrage over the water cutoffs and called the collection effort a “violation of the human right to water and sanitation in the City of Detroit.”