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Fifth COVID Relief Bill Passes House and Includes Moratorium on Utility Service Shutoffs

Last Friday, the House passed a $3 trillion coronavirus aid bill that includes a moratorium on disconnecting or terminating service from a utility, including water and sewer, for nonpayment.

The latest coronavirus relief package, H.R. 6800, or the HEROES Act, includes funding for individual stimulus, assistance to state and local governments, hazard pay for some essential workers, student debt forgiveness and Medicaid and Medicare support. The bill, known as the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, also includes funding for states and local governments and water utilities serving low-income water customers: Employment Information | House.gov

  • $1.5 billion for Health and Human Services grants to states, territories, and American Indian tribes for public water systems or treatment works to reduce rates charged to low-income households;
  • $5 billion for the Housing and Urban Development Department’s Community Development Block Grants; and
  • $30 million for Native American tribes to deliver potable water to residents lacking access.

While the bill was passed by the House, the Senate is less supportive of the measure. The White House also threatened to veto the package without significant changes.