Detroiters with limited income working to manage their water bills and recover from last summer’s flooding received welcome news today as the Michigan Muslim Community Council (MMCC) and Islamic Relief USA donated $100,000 today to the Detroit Water Fund and Wayne Metro Community Action Agency.
Each organization will receive $50,000, which will be used to help those who have past-due accounts with the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Representatives of the MMCC organized the grants to assist Detroiters because of the city’s rich heritage among the Muslim community. Islamic Relief USA is one of the largest Muslim charities in the United States.
Muzammil Ahmed, Chairperson of the MMCC, said, “The MMCC wants to contribute to the city’s revitalization and we hope that our donation will inspire other Detroiters to do the same.”
The Detroit Water Fund is a partnership between DWSD and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan to help Detroiters pay their water bills. Wayne Metro Community Action Agency helps Detroiters with utility bills and also provides budgeting and economic stability training to local residents.
“When our neighbor is without water, that affects all of us,” said Sue McCormick, Director -Detroit Water and Sewerage Department (DWSD). “I salute the MMCC and Islamic Relief USA for helping to further empower Detroiters who are in need. When we all work together to alleviate a problem and help Detroiters keep their water on — we all win.”
Michael Brennan, President/CEO of the United Way for Southeastern Michigan said, “The partnership between the MMCC, Islamic Relief USA, DWSD and Wayne Metro creates real impact for families in our region.”
Louis D. Piszker, Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Metro said, “We’re excited to have this opportunity to collaborate with Islamic Relief USA and MMCC and help those with affordability issues. We share a commitment to help the citizens of the area and we are proud to do that.”
To qualify for assistance from the Detroit Water Fund, residents have to pay down 10 percent of their past-due balance to receive up to 25 percent in matching funds toward their bill for a period of 12 months.
Some of the other eligibility requirements include:
- Have an outstanding balance between $300 and $2000 (new maximum amount); and
- Maintain Average Water Usage for their household size; and
- Are either enrolled in DTE’s Low Income Self-Sufficiency Plan (LSP); or,
- Have income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (for example, a family of 4 must have an annual income below $35,775).
For those that don’t meet the eligibility requirements for the Detroit Water Fund, DWSD offers payment plan agreements. The past-due amount is spread out over a two-year period into a manageable amount, which makes it easier for residents to pay down their bill and also remain current. As of December, there are more than 40,000 residents enrolled in payment plans.
Wayne Metro serves low-income residents in all areas of living, including financial assistance, education, nutrition and food, job skills and life skills. The organization qualifies applicants based on them having income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level.
The funding for the Detroit Water Fund assistance and for from Wayne Metro is available on a first-come first-served basis and is subject to availability. The Detroit Water Fund has approved 1,236 customers since its inception. Wayne Metro has assisted more than 1,300 customers with water bills since July 2013.
To confirm eligibility for the Detroit Water Fund, call (313) 267-8000. To make a donation or apply online for help from the Detroit Water Fund, go to www.DetroitWaterFund.org. For assistance from Wayne Metro, call (313) 388-9799.
About the Michigan Muslim Community Council
The Michigan Muslim Community Council has served the community for over 25 years. Its new name was adopted in 2012 after the merging of the Council of the Islamic Organizations of Michigan (CIOM) and the Islamic Shura Council of Michigan (ISCOM), and reflects its new focus on community building with an expanded board. MMCC is an umbrella organization that unifies and coordinates the large Muslim community in Michigan to make the state a better place for all.
About the Detroit Water Fund
The Detroit Water Fund was created as a partnership between the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department and the United Way for Southeastern Michigan in response to the growing need for assistance with water bills. DWSD pre screens applicants for eligibility and the Detroit Water Fund provides the direct assistance.
About Wayne Metro Community Action Agency
Wayne Metro has been administering more than 60 community programs for the 42 communities in the Wayne Metro area since 1971. The Agency recently expanded its service area to include the City of Detroit. Wayne Metro’s mission is to empower low-income individuals and strengthen communities
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For more information please contact Curtrise Garner at (313) 701-2147 or Gregory Eno at (313) 573-0775