Michigan State University

Baltimore water discount program short of meeting need of tens of thousands of families

Baltimore water discount program short of meeting need of tens of thousands of families

As Baltimore continues to raise its water rates for city customers, the public works department has set a goal of doubling enrollment in discount programs to help the poor and the elderly.

But even if the city hit that target — and records show it is not close — it would be missing tens of thousands who could qualify for reduced monthly bills.

Nationwide, water rate increases are outpacing inflation, pushing bills to levels in the next five years that researchers say could become unaffordable for one in three U.S. households. In Baltimore, rates are scheduled to rise this summer and again next summer, doubling the cost of water in just eight years.

Baltimore officials...

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