- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.Q6qPkwFC.dpuf In the midst of growing foreclosure crisis, water shut-offs are ill-timed | Bronx News Networkbronx

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

In the midst of growing foreclosure crisis, water shut-offs are ill-timed

The New York City Water Board will meet Friday morning to discuss a proposal to shut-off water service to over 8,000 single family homeowners behind on their water bills. There are also reports that the Water Board is considering a mid-year rate increase of up to 18%.

As foreclosures continue to climb, a coalition of nonprofit organizations that works with homeowners throughout the City plans to attend the little-publicized Water Board meeting Friday morning to demand a two-year moratorium on shut-offs for homeowners and to call upon Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to improve communication and collaboration with the homeowner counseling groups in resolving unpaid bills. The groups also oppose any additional rate increase that may be on the table.

The proposal to shut-off water service to single family homeowners who owe at least $1,000 and are at least one year delinquent comes at the same time as foreclosure rates in the City are skyrocketing. Many of the homes targeted for shut-off are in the same neighborhoods victimized by high rates of subprime lending and foreclosures.

Water rates have already risen 22% in the past 18 months, and are projected to rise another 11.4% this coming July, as the DEP’s capital costs continue to escalate on major projects like the Croton Filtration Plant being built in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

The coalition of organizations attending the hearing include the New York Mortgage Coalition, the Association for Neighborhood Housing Development, Neighborhood Housing Services of Jamaica, CHANGER, Pratt Area Community Council, Community Assisted Tenant Controlled Housing, Neighborhood Housing Services of Staten Island, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, and University Neighborhood Housing Program.

The NYC Water Board meeting and hearing will take place Friday, November 9, 2007 at 8:30 AM in Room 123 of St. John's University Manhattan Campus (101 Murray Street).


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