Chicago, IL — Today, Mayor Lightfoot announced the expansion of the Utility Billing Relief program that will support homeowners who are behind on their water bills by allowing them to enroll in the program, get 50% off their water and sewer payments, be protected from service shut-offs, and have the potential of getting their water debt forgiven.
In response, Zhenya Polozova, Regional Organizer with Food & Water Action, has issued the following statement:
“Mayor Lightfoot’s expansion of the Utility Billing Relief (UBR) Program is an important step towards ensuring affordable and equitable water access for all. But our city is facing dual economic and health crises, and Chicagoans need more. Advocates and city council members have called for the passage and implementation of the Water-for-All ordinance since November 2017, a visionary ordinance that would match water billing to household income, give voters democratic control over the ownership of the water system, and ensure equitable distribution of funding for capital improvements. Similar legislation has been passed and implemented in Philadelphia and Baltimore, ensuring equity in water billing practices. We urge Mayor Lightfoot to take action to match the scale of challenge we face, and to give residents of Chicago even stronger protection in the face of rising water bills.”