DEP Proposes Multifamily Water Assistance Program, Water and Sewer Bill Credit

Mayor Bill de Blasio recently proposed a $183 summer credit on the water and sewer bills of over 664,000 homeowners, in keeping with the city's past efforts to ensure bills stay as low as possible. The 664,000 homeowners represent almost 80 percent of all customers. Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Emily Lloyd stated that the one-time credit results from the administration's decision to no longer request a rental payment from the NYC Water Board, saving $244 million in FY17 and $268 million in FY18. The mayor has the authority to request or decline to request the rental payment.

The $183 credit, which must be approved by the Water Board, is on top of other proposed changes, including a $250 credit per unit for multifamily residential properties that meet low-income guidelines. The $250 credit will cover 40,000 apartments or homes. According to the proposed program, multifamily residential properties will be eligible for a $250 credit per residential unit if they meet affordability criteria (i.e., the average rent or maintenance is affordable at 30 percent or less of income for the average household making below 60 percent of Area Median Income) and execute a low-income agreement containing a minimum of at least 15 remaining years with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development or the Housing Development Corporation. This program will provide a total of $10 million of assistance to properties serving as many as 40,000 units, while helping to incentivize affordability.