Thursday, October 20, 2022
From Martha F. Davis, Co-Editor.
Today is the annual "Imagine a Day Without Water" Day of Action.
To promote greater attention to water affordability and the human right to water for ALL, Northeastern Law School's Program on Human Rights and the Economy has today issued a Briefing Paper: How Five Creative Water Utilities Are Assisting “Hard-to-Reach” Renters as Water Rates Rise.
Rising water prices nationwide affect everyone, but the impact on renters is often obscured and forgotten, as they often pay for water prices through rent increases. Ostensibly neutral on its face, the targeting of water assistance to homeowners is an example of structural racism, since the racial housing gap, the history of redlining and other instances of race-based housing discrimination means that people of color are disproportionately renters.
A handful of water utilities around the country have prioritized the assistance to renters, taking different approaches to the problem of assisting water consumers who are not themselves paying water bills. This Briefing Paper highlights the mechanisms adopted by these utilities, in hopes of spreading the word that there are viable approaches to increasing water equity for renters.