Skip to main content

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Partners Assisting Detroit Water Customers

Lansing, Mich. July 15, 2014 – Qualifying low-income Detroit residents who need help paying late water bills can seek assistance from the Michigan Department of Human Services (MDHHS) and its community partners, MDHHS said today.

MDHHS and others are offering several options to help as residents who may have seen their water shut off in recent weeks because of delinquent bills owed to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department.

MDHHS encourages these individuals to contact Detroit Water and Sewerage for assistance at 313-267-8000 before contacting other agencies.

Detroit residents who need help paying their water bills can seek assistance from: 

  • Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. The department is setting up payment plans and taking requests for assistance from a nonprofit organization.
  • Detroit Water and Sewerage District has worked with The Heat and Warmth Fund – better known as THAW – to make nearly $1 million in assistance available to low-income Detroit water customers.

    Call THAW at 1-877-646-2831 or the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department at 313-267-8000 for information about payment plans or assistance from THAW. 

  • Wayne Metro Community Action Agency. Wayne Metro has already provided $1 million in water bill assistance to Detroit residents since August 2013 through a contract with MDHHS and has about $300,000 still available. Those dollars came to MDHHS from a federal Community Services Block Grant. Assistance is available to low-income households. Recipients are required to take a financial literacy or utility conservation course. Call 313-388-9799.

  • The MDHHS State Emergency Relief program. Up to $175 per year in assistance is available to qualifying low-income households. Apply online at or at your local MDHHS office. Call 2-1-1 or go to and click on the “MDHHS Contacts” tab if you don’t know the location of the office that serves you. 

  • MDHHS emergency services. This program provides additional assistance beyond State Emergency Relief. It is a “last resort” funding source for people who can demonstrate they have exhausted funding from other possible resources and are unable to get services restored. The application process is the same as for State Emergency Relief.