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(20 ILCS 605/605-870)
Low-income water assistance policy and program.
(a) The Department shall by rule establish a comprehensive low-income water assistance policy and program that incorporates financial assistance and includes, but is not limited to, water efficiency or water quality projects, such as lead service line replacement, or other measures to ensure that residents have access to affordable and clean water. The policy and program shall not jeopardize the ability of public utilities, community water supplies, or other entities to receive just compensation for providing services. The resources applied in achieving the policy and program shall be coordinated and efficiently used through the integration of public programs and through the targeting of assistance. The rule or rules shall be adopted within 180 days after receiving an appropriation for the program.
(b) Any person who is a resident of the State and whose household income is not greater than an amount determined annually by the Department may apply for assistance under this Section in accordance with rules adopted by the Department. In setting the annual eligibility level, the Department shall consider the amount of available funding and may not set a limit higher than 150% of the poverty guidelines updated periodically in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the authority of 42 U.S.C. 9902(2).
(c) Applicants who qualify for assistance under subsection (b) shall, subject to appropriation from the General Assembly and availability of funds by the Department, receive assistance as provided under this Section. The Department, upon receipt of moneys authorized under this Section for assistance, shall commit funds for each qualified applicant in an amount determined by the Department. In determining the amounts of assistance to be provided to or on behalf of a qualified applicant the Department shall ensure that the highest amounts of assistance go to households with the greatest water costs in relation to household income. The Department may consider factors such as water costs, household size, household income, and region of the State when determining individual household benefits. In adopting rules for the administration of this Section, the Department shall ensure that a minimum of one-third of the funds for the program are available for benefits to eligible households with the lowest incomes and that elderly households, households with persons with disabilities, and households with children under 6 years of age are offered a priority application period.
(d) Application materials for the program shall be made available in multiple languages.
(Source: P.A. 102-613, eff. 1-1-22