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Water Debt Assistance Program - Single Family Homeowners

What is DEP’s Water Debt Assistance Program?

Launched on February 8, 2010 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Environmental Protection Commissioner Cas Holloway, the Water Debt Assistance Program is a new initiative that will temporarily relieve qualified homeowners who are at risk of mortgage foreclosure of past-due water and sewer debt. Single family homeowners who have received a Service Termination Warning letter or a 15-Day Service Termination Notice and are currently under threat of foreclosure or mortgage delinquency may apply for the Program. If qualified, DEP will remove their property from the service termination process and will defer the debt until the property is sold, refinanced, or the owner has the ability to pay the debt. If accepted into the program, the owner must enter into a binding agreement with DEP stating that the debt is valid and will be paid on or before the sale or refinancing of the property. In addition the owner must agree to pay all current and future charges on time or the agreement may be voided and the property will be placed back on the Service Termination list.

The 2013 Water Debt Assistance Program for Single Family Homeowners is not yet available at this time.

The eligibility and enrollment criteria below are for informational purposes only.

Who is eligible?

Properties must have more than $500 in overdue water bills for at least six months and must have received either a Service Termination Warning letter or a 15-day Service Termination Notice.

Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • The property is a one family home
  • The property is owner-occupied
  • The owner has received formal notifications of serious delinquency from their mortgage lender
  • The owner has received the Service Termination Warning Notice or a 15-Day Service Termination Notice
  • The owner must acknowledge the existing water and sewer debt as valid, and all future bills must be paid in full or the property will be placed back on the Service Termination list
  • The owner must enter a binding agreement that the debt will be paid in full on or before the property is sold, transferred, or refinanced
  • The owner must be deemed as qualified through a means-test, which will evaluate the owner's full financial picture to determine their ability to pay the debt

How do I enroll?

To determine eligibility, property owners must obtain a Water Debt Assistance Customer Participation Form. Once completed, bring the application to a borough office so that DEP staff can evaluate the application. In addition to the application, owners must bring the following documents to the borough office:

  • Valid government issued photo identification
  • Proof of mortgage delinquency
  • Proof of residency (a recent utility bill with name and service address listed)

All of the documents will be reviewed in order to complete the evaluation process to determine qualification for the Water Debt Assistance Program. Once a property owner is accepted into the program, an agreement will be set up between the owner and DEP with terms and conditions required for continued enrollment in the program. Please note that access to your water meter may be required to ensure accurate billing.

DEP Borough Office Hours and Locations

Borough Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Bronx – 1932 Arthur Avenue – 6th Floor
Brooklyn – 250 Livingston Street – 8th Floor
Manhattan – 1250 Broadway – 8th Floor
Queens – 96-05 Horace Harding Exp. – 1st Floor
Staten Island – 60 Bay Street – 6th Floor

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