Study: 1/3 of Baltimore Residents Can’t Afford Water Rates

via Sidewalk City
via Sidewalk City

Amid the city’s ongoing efforts to collect back water bills comes a new stat.  Baltimore’s water rates are not affordable for 1/3 of city residents, according to an analysis prepared by Food and Water Watch.

According to the report, United Nations standards hold that water and sewer bills should be no more than three percent of household income. In Baltimore, 1/3 of residents earn $25,000 or less. But the average among these households is $804 for water bills, which is far more than 3 percent.

The city had issued about 25,000 shutoff notices to customers who owed back pay at last report. stats show that collecting from the entities who are in the highest third of earners could go a long way toward solving the problem. When they announced the new policy, the city said that 360 customers owed $15 million out of the $40 million in back payments.



Stephen Babcock

Stephen Babcock is the editor of Baltimore and an editor-at-large of Baltimore Fishbowl.