Co-sponsorship Memo – Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

Senate of PennsylvaniaSession of 2023 – 2024 Regular Session



March 15, 2023 02:21 PM


Senator Lisa M. Boscola and Sen. Frank A. Farry


All Senate members


Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program

In the near future, we intend to introduce legislation that would create a permanent Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) in the Commonwealth. This legislation stems from a temporary LIHWAP program that was administered through the Department of Human Services (DHS) with the support of the Federal Government.The federal LIHWAP program utilized American Rescue Plan dollars to assist states in supporting low income households during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. States who received Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) grants in fiscal year 2021 were eligible to receive funding for LIHWAP in 2022.Unfortunately, the Federal Government is not reauthorizing LIHWAP moving forward, and DHS ceased taking applications from Pennsylvanians in October 2022. It is a shame because this program worked wonderfully back home in our districts, and across the Commonwealth.The City of Bethlehem received $150,000 in LIHWAP funds and provided assistance to 240 accounts in arrears. From my understanding, the program was easy to administer in assuring the funding went to the intended recipients. As a whole, Pennsylvania received approximately $43 million in LIHWAP funding.It is important for Pennsylvania to adopt its own LIHWAP plan because there are states who have not exhausted the federal funding which was distributed to them. If those states do not distribute the funding, states like Pennsylvania would be eligible to receive those dollars, but we should have a program in place.