Water Department News

News from the South Burlington Water Department



February 24, 2022
Vermont’s Homeowner Assistance Program opened January 24, 2022

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is now accepting applications from Vermont homeowners who are behind on their housing expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act, the Vermont Homeowner Assistance Program provides grants for eligible Vermont homeowners for missed payments on their mortgage, utilities (water/sewer, electricity, home heating), property taxes, and homeowner's or condominium association fees. The program is restricted to expenses related to a homeowner's primary home (other eligibility criteria apply). General Criteria To be eligible, Vermont homeowners must:

  • Have experienced a financial hardship after January 21, 2020 related to the Covid-19 pandemic;
  • Have income equal to or less than 150% area median income, as published by VHFA based on household size (assistance will be prioritized for those with income equal to or less than 100% of area median income, as published by VHFA based on household size, and for Historically Underserved Populations), and income limits may be reduced to meet the requirement that 60% of all HAF grants be made to household with incomes less than or equal to the area median income, as published by VHFA based on household size);
  • Own and occupy as a primary residence the property for which assistance is sought; and
  • Submit a hardship affidavit as explanation of a material reduction of household income or material increase in household expenses.

If applicants are approved, payments will be made directly to service providers. To learn more and apply, visit vermonthap.vhfa.org or call (833) 221-4208. A separate rental assistance program is available through the Vermont State Housing Authority at erap.vsha.org.

4/22/22 - Update on this program

Duration

  • The duration of the program has been extended and is no longer slated to end sometime in September 2022. The program is now slated to end sometime in 2025 or when funding has been exhausted.

 Additional Funding Available with ERA2 adds 3 more Benefit Months

  • An additional 3 months for eligible households are now available, under ERA2.
  • Payments for ERA2 are processed separately from ERA1.  
    • ERA1 covers payments for participant months (1-15).
    • ERA2 covers payments for participant months (16 – 18).
    • Please submit payment requests for months (16-18) separate from months (1-15).
  • Remember you can use the payment export in the vendor portal to reconcile your accounts.
  • Please allow 3-4 business days for payments to process through the state finance system. Payment dates may differ from the vendor portal due to processing time.

$ 10,000.00 Utility CAP Lifted

  • There is no longer a CAP on the amount of assistance a household can receive, per utility type. 

Recertification Every 3 Months

  • Applicants must recertify every 3 months to continue to receive utility assistance. 
  • If the applicant fails to recertify the additional 3 months will not be available for the vendor to enter payment requests. 
    • The application status will show as “approved for additional assistance” in the vendor portal.

February 24, 2022
Low Income Household Water Assistance Program - LIHWAP

The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) launched the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) to help eligible households pay their water and wastewater bills. The program runs from November 2021 through September 2023, with the potential to be extended. LIHWAP is a national program established by Congress under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 to help families experiencing financial hardship.

Eligible households are those with gross household income below 60% of the state median income based on household size. Priority will be given to households whose water/wastewater has been disconnected or is at risk of being disconnected.

Customers can download/print the application at https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/water-assistance