Guilford County is receiving funding from the NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) to be used to provide assistance to low-income households in paying their water and sewer bills.

Guilford County’s Department of Social Services – usually with support from NCDHHS – offers a wide variety of programs that help low-income families meet basic needs. Those include giving out free fans when it’s hot, paying heating bills when it’s cold, helping clients get access to cell phones, and helping them pay rent and child care bills.

During the pandemic, many assistance programs expanded and new support programs were added.

This particular program, the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program, was added during the pandemic to help county residents with low incomes that spend a lot of that income on water and wastewater services.

This water assistance plan officially ended on the last day of May 2023, and it’s not known if it will be continued.  However, this week, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners is scheduled to accept $318,591 from NCDHHS to help those in the county who have already applied and who met the eligibility requirements.

Guilford County has 3,671 households that are expected to get help from this funding.

The grant requires the money be paid to public water systems or water treatment works rather than to the individuals or households.

Eligibility for the program was income based. A household had to be at or below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level – which means a family of four would need to make less than $41,600 in annual income to qualify.

Those households in Guilford County that were already receiving benefits through Low-Income Energy Assistance Programs, Food and Nutrition Services or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs were automatically eligible.

Guilford County began receiving money for this program in late 2021, during the pandemic.

All the checks to water and sewer providers have to be issued by September 30, 2023.