I know this is a few days old, but I want to applaud Seattle for considering allowing more emergency credit before it shuts off water.
The Seattle City Council is now considering legislation that would give a second emergency credit of up to $340 per year for any family registered in its low-income Utility Discount Program with children in the home. Currently, only one credit is available annually per household.
Seattle Public Utilities said it shut off water to 138 households in 2012 that were part of its low-income program. Of those, 68 had children under 18 years old.
Councilmember Jean Godden, who is sponsoring the legislation, said providing a second credit to those 68 families would cost the city about $20,000 a year. She called that a small subsidy in the context of the utilities’ nearly billion-dollar annual budget.
The article goes on to say that number is probably low because some people don’t know they qualify for the program. When people and families fall behind it’s unfortunate. And I’m glad in a relatively wealthy city like Seattle we’re figuring out how to make this situation a little less awful.