Take Action – Call your Congressional Members today and urge them to pass the Maintaining Access to Essential Services Act
On August 6, 2021, Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D- Detroit) introduced the House version of Maintaining Access to Essential Services, which would eliminate water, electric, and internet household debt. The bill, if enacted into law, would provide $13.5 billion for private and public water utilities in the form of low-interest loans that can become grant dollars if the utilities forgive residential water debt. The bill further suspends charging late or restoration of water service fees, prohibits reporting residents with utility debt to credit bureaus or placing liens on their homes, shutting off water to residents due to non-payment, and requires utilities to restore residential services.
Millions of people across the country currently do not have access to tap water or are facing their water being shut-off due to the billions of dollars of utility debt that has grown exponentially during the pandemic. As the Delta COVID variant cases ramp up, it is imperative to pass legislation that secures utility debt relief so everyone has the ability to wash their hands and masks.
Unfortunately, the over $1 trillion Bi-partisan Infrastructure Bill moving through the Senate does not include a prohibition on utility shut-offs or utility debt relief. Access to clean, safe, and affordable water is a basic human right and need. Congress has a role in ensuring all Americans have access to this life giving resource. Call your Congressional members today and urge them to pass the Maintaining Access to Essential Services Act.