Maryland’s low-income are struggling to pay their water bills, with rate increases being the driving factor. On Saturday, the House of Delegates approved a legislation that would give Marylanders, who owe unpaid water bills a year’s reprieve from threat of having their homes sold.
The legislation would have a major impact in Baltimore, but would apply statewide. The practice of selling someone’s home, when they fail to pay their bill would be suspended for a full year.
The House also passed a related bill that would organize a task force to research new ways of enforcing people to pay their water charges without seizing their home.
With increasing rates, low-income Baltimoreans are finding it more difficult to afford the water bills. In 2016, over 315 owner-occupied properties were sent to tax sale due to unpaid water bills.