courtesy of the City of Barrie
The City of Barrie recently introduced a new financial assistance support program to help offset water/wastewater bill costs for low-income households in Barrie. The program allows successful applicants to be credited a portion of their water/wastewater bill back to them.
“Council understands that with more people working at home, learning at home, and caring for people at home, water bills have become a larger part of people’s monthly costs,” said Mayor Jeff Lehman. “Through this new support program for low-income households, the City can give a hand to those struggling with the cost of living.”
Among other criteria, program applicants must be a permanent, full-time resident of Barrie with a current residential water/wastewater billing account, and the application must pertain to a principal residence. The applicant must also qualify as low-income based on the Government of Canada’s 2020 low-income cut-offs. The City currently has 44,978 active water/wastewater billing accounts, and 42,454 are residential.
Supporting documentation will be required for proof of income, and applicants must re-apply each year. Residents can apply by filling out an application form (available through Service Barrie or downloadable online) and either emailing the form to firstname.lastname@example.org, dropping the completed form off at Service Barrie, or mailing the form to Barrie City Hall.
To provide financial relief for residents, Council approved the lowest property tax increase in 20 years (0.92 per cent) and froze the wastewater rates for 2021. The City has also implemented other service changes and worked with community agencies to help connect residents with resources during the pandemic. For more information, visit “Support for Residents & Property Owners” via barrie.ca/COVID19. The City also provides a recreation program fees assistance program called RecACCESS, which gives all residents an opportunity to participate in recreation programs and activities, regardless of their financial situation.
For more information and details on the application process for the water/wastewater financial assistance program, visit “Low-Income Household Water/Wastewater Relief Program” via barrie.ca/WaterBilling.