Many NJ customers can’t get help with overdue bills because of reluctant utilities

January 27, 2023

Customers owe New Jersey’s water and sewer utilities tens of millions in unpaid bills, debts that have thousands of families facing shut-offs.

While a Low Income Household Water Assistance program offers up to $5,000 to eligible families to avoid that prospect, only 126 of the more than 600 water and sewer service providers in New Jersey are participating in the federally funded program, which is administered by the state Department of Community Affairs.

As a result, only 1,993 households in the state have received federal funding from the program to pay those overdue bills in the nearly one year since its launch. There is $17.3 million left unspent, money which could revert to the federal government by this fall, according to Larry Levine, director of water infrastructure for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Consumer debt is increasing,” said Daniel Jefferson of AARP-New Jersey [MCRP/MPP ’24], who noted many homeowners are facing tax liens because of unpaid utility bills.

NJ Spotlight News 1/27/23

Recent Posts

Kelly O’Brien (MCRP ’09) Named Fairfax City Hometown Hero

On July 15th, Kelly O'Brien (MCRP '09)  was recognized as a Hometown Hero during Fox 5 DC's Zip Trip visit to Fairfax City. "Although I don't think of myself as a hero, I am grateful for the chance to express my dedication to serving my community and shed light on the...

Winecoff: Working Paper on Health Insurance Enrollment

Spillovers in Public Benefit Enrollment: How does Expanding Public Health Insurance for Working-Age Adults affect Future Health Insurance Choices? Abstract Enrollment in one public benefit program often affects enrollment in others. We study life-course spillovers by...

$21.1 million Awarded for the Safe Routes to School Program

The Murphy Administration announced $21.1 million for 23 grants under the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program on July 10, 2024. The New Jersey Safe Routes to School Program, supported by the New Jersey Department of Transportation, is a statewide initiative with a...

Deanna Moran Named MA Chief Coastal Resilience Officer

Deanna Moran, AICP (MPP/MCRP '16) was named the Chief Coastal Resilience Officer by the Healey-Driscoll Administration to address climate change impacts along Massachusetts’ coastline. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rebecca Tepper announced Deanna...

Voorhees Transportation Center seeks new Executive Director

The Alan M. Voorhees Transportation Center (VTC) seeks a new Executive Director who will oversee the center’s research program, technical services and other initiatives, including external relations, communications, business development, and fundraising. The Executive...

Upcoming Events

Event Series CAREERS

Virtual Career Drop-ins

Virtual

Stop by virtually on Mondays (except for holidays) beginning September 9th through December 16th between 11 am and 1 pm to ask a quick (15 min) career-related question of Bloustein […]