Water Assistance and Partnership Guest Blog from Kentucky

The Kentucky Department for Community Based Services (DCBS) Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is a federally funded program provided through the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to address the financial impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on low-income households. Kentucky received $18.7 million in LIHWAP funds in FY21. The program addresses the needs of many low-income Kentucky households that are struggling with paying their water bills.

Kentucky’s LIHWAP program launched in December 2021. It is managed at the state level at the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services and in coordination with Community Action Kentucky, Inc. (CAK). Community Action Kentucky Inc. subcontracts with 22 Community Action Agencies across the state and one local government to administer the program.

Kentucky’s LIHWAP provides relief assistance to three priority groups:

  • Households facing disconnections or reconnections
  • Households with arrearages
  • Households with current amount due

LIHWAP is available statewide and provides Kentucky households with financial relief toward their water/wastewater bills. Eligible households may receive subsidy up to $400 or crisis up to $800 or both up to a maximum benefit of $1200, depending on their households need.

As of June 2022, Kentucky has exhausted all available LIHWAP funds. LIHWAP assistance continues to be a need in Kentucky as many families still struggle financially with paying their water/wastewater utilities. To date, Kentucky has partnered with 363 water utility vendors and has served over 46,000 households with their water/wastewater bills.

The below video highlights the important services LIHWAP provides in Kentucky that includes interviews with utility providers and program administrators. Kentucky LIHWAP beneficiaries share about the impact the LIHWAP program has had on their lives, in their own words.