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Water Debt Assistance Program - Multi Family Homeowners

What is DEP’s Water Debt Assistance Program?

Launched on February 8, 2010 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and former 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. Multi family homeowners who are on the 2014 90-day lien sale list and are currently under threat of foreclosure or mortgage delinquency may apply for the Program. If qualified, DEP will remove their property from the upcoming 2014 lien sale and 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 included in a subsequent lien sale.

Who is eligible?

Properties must have more than $2,000 in overdue water and sewer bills outstanding for at least a year, and must have received either a “2014 Lien Sale Warning” letter or been placed on the 2014 90-day lien sale list.

Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • Tax Class One property
  • The property is owner-occupied
  • The owner is not already enrolled in the Water Debt Assistance Program
  • The owner has received formal notifications of serious delinquency from their mortgage lender
  • 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 included in a subsequent lien sale
  • The owner must enter a binding agreement that the water and sewer 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 one of DEP's five borough offices 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 listed above must be reviewed as a part of the Program's evaluation.  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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