Similar to the Home Heating Assistance Program (HEAP) for New Yorkers struggling to pay winter heating bills, there is a program to assist with water bills.
The Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a program that is run through states, including New York, using federal money to assist those having difficulty making ends meet.
Mohawk Valley Water Authority Executive Director Pat Becher says there are several MVWA customers who have received help in paying back water bills through LIHWAP:
"We now have hundreds of people signed up for (LIHWAP) that have been qualified by the state. So, we're receiving payment for their bill directly through the program so they don't have to pay it. It's a great program and it's helped a lot of people out, and helped reduced our delinquencies," Becher said. "When we have people struggling to pay their bill and have become delinquent, we try to steer them toward the program."
In New York, the program is administered through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), which describes the benefit this way:
LIHWAP is a benefit based on the actual amount of water and/or sewer arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per water or sewer provider, or $5,000 if water and sewer services are combined, per applicant household. Benefits are paid directly to the household's water and/or sewer vendor(s).
Household income qualifications are based on the number of people who live in the home. For example, a family of four must have a gross income less than $5,485 to be eligible, according to the OTDA website.
Eligibility for the program this year began on October 1.
For more information or to see if you qualify, contact the Mohawk Valley Water Authority or the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.
These Tiny Upstate New York Towns Have a Big Story To Tell
While much of the spotlight about news and events are usually focused on Upstate's big cities, like Albany, Binghamton, Kingston, Buffalo, Syracuse, Utica, Jamestown, etc., there are many smaller towns that have a great little story to tell.
Here is a list of 15 towns, villages, and hamlets of less than 2,500 in population that have some interesting things to explore. Each of the entries in this gallery has a link to an amazing museum, historical site, event, or something else to share with the folks passing through. The largest community on this list clocks in at exactly 2,500 residents, and the smallest has a minuscule 330.
But oh the stories these little places can tell!
Look Inside Joe Biden's Former Syracuse Home
A lot has happened since the house last sold in 2005 for $68,000. Between the previous occupant becoming Vice-President and then the 46th President over the past 17 years, along with the current housing market, the property is now on the market at a substantial uptick of $334,900.
The house is at 608 and 610 Stinard Avenue, and was originally built in 1925. It’s a two-family duplex with 3,364 square feet of space, plus a two-car garage. The first unit is two bed/two bath. The second unit is roomier with four bedrooms and two baths. The house has lots of original wood paneling, which feels very presidential. Could sleeping here lead to a long and successful political career? It certainly couldn’t hurt.
Photo credit: Eric F Metz II, Independent Realty Group via Zillow
Take a Walk Along These 12 Charming Upstate New York 'Main Streets'
Typically the heart of any community is its Main Street. Upstate New York is no different. While big box stores, strip malls, and franchise restaurants can now be found at the outskirts of most towns, here are a dozen really nice small town Main Streets that would make for a perfect afternoon stroll. Check them out!