Detroit's emergency manager turned over control of the Water and Sewerage Department to the mayor's office in July amid scrutiny over the city's policy of cracking down on water customers with overdue bills.
The city began aggressively disconnecting water in late March for city residents who had not paid their bills and were falling farther behind. Since then, nearly 18,000 customers have been cut off as Detroit scrambles to repay its massive debt, according to the Water and Sewerage Department.
About $87 million is still owed in delinquent bills, and there are nearly 86,000 accounts still overdue, according to July reports from water officials.
The water shutoff campaign drew widespread criticism, including from the
The plan includes the waiving of fees and late payment penalties through the end of the moratorium, a payment plan structure that requires only a valid ID to participate and increased staffing at customer service and call centers. It also establishes a new assistance fund to help low-income families, called the Detroit Water Fund.
From April through July, the Water and Sewerage Department collected $2.6 million under the campaign, it reported. In comparison, the department said it collected only $503,000 from delinquent accounts in the same four-month period last year.