2017 UNHP Research on Cost of Water and New Discounted Water Rate Program

UNHP’s June 2017 report entitled “Addressing the Ongoing Need for Affordable Water for Affordable Housing” calls for the enactment of the Multi-family Water Assistance Program in Fiscal Year 2018 (FY 2018). The stress that the cost of water places on affordable housing continues to grow and this program begins to address this critical problem. UNHP released this report prior to the New York City Water Board hearing on June 16th 2017. The Board voted to pass a program to help buildings with long term affordability agreements with the City.

​The cost of water continues to be a substantial portion of the operating costs for buildings currently providing affordable housing in New York City. Income and expense data for multi-family buildings from the New York City Rent Guidelines Board and a set of community controlled, affordable housing properties in the Bronx show the disproportionate impact of the cost of water in affordable housing buildings. The report states that the Multi-family Water Assistance Program represents an important first step in addressing the issue in apartment buildings providing affordable housing.

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), in conjunction with HPD and the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), is offering a water and sewer credit for eligible HPD- or HDC-assisted affordable multifamily housing projects. Eligible projects can receive a $250 credit per residential unit on their fiscal year 2018 water and sewer bill(s) on a first-come, first-serve basis (enrollment is limited).Information and applications are available here.

See UNHP’s 2017 research on the Ongoing Need for Affordable Water for Affordable Housing and our comments to the Water Board at the link on the right. Our original report issued in April, 2015 Affordable Water for Affordable Housing can be found here. History on our work for affordable water rates can be found on our blog posts linked here and here.