Home > Uncategorized, Water > City Council OKs water bill rebate ? Does this help you?

City Council OKs water bill rebate ? Does this help you?

In April 2010 the City Council increased water rates 30% or approx $12 per month per apartment. The below article from the Chronicle newspaper does not mention that the water bill rebate does not help most multifamily apartment owners.
City Council on Wednesday July 7 th passed the first of a two-part program to help apartment owners conserve water in an effort to soften the impact of double-digit water rate increases on low-income Houstonians.
The first part, a two-year, $10 million conservation rebate program, will be used to give water rate rebates to owners of federally-financed, rent-restricted apartment complexes.
To qualify this fiscal year for the rebate, which will reduce the effective rate increase from 30.1 percent to 12.5 percent, apartment owners must coordinate a water conservation education program for tenants. To qualify in the second year, they must demonstrate water conservation of at least 5 percent. That would reduce the rate increase from 30.1 percent to 21.03 percent.
Mayor Annise Parker said the program was designed to help those owners because federal guidelines don’t allow them to pass on water rate increases to their tenants.
She promised to work with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to ensure that “the rate increase doesn’t trigger some kind of default situation on the part of those property owners.
“It is not intended as a gift,” she said. “It is intended to be a bridge until they can adjust the rent on those properties to cover the increased costs.”
The council is expected to take up the second part of the conservation program in the coming months, which will be designed to help other multifamily complexes and will involve $10 million in annual incentives for two to three years, according to city documents.
Council members voted in April to raise water and sewer rates by nearly 30 percent for the average residential user. That increased the monthly bill of a single-family homeowner using 6,000 gallons of water from $47 to $60. At the higher rate, Houston charges more than many major U.S. municipalities, including Dallas, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
A Travis County judge last month declared the rate hikes valid, giving the Parker administration a legal blessing for increases critics argued were a violation of the city’s charter.
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Categories: Uncategorized, Water
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