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UCHRA Looking For New Water Assistance Funding

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
UCHRA Looking For New Water Assistance Funding

UCHRA looking for new money sources for its water assistance program after federal funds dried up.

UCHRA Deputy Director LaNelle Godsey told the UCHRA Policy Council Wednesday morning that the money went to help residents pay off past-due water charges if a resident’s water had been shut off. She said the available money left for the program is down to just a “couple thousand.”

“It was very well-received here in the Upper Cumberland,” Godsey said. “It was utilized. Like I said, we have spent the majority of the funds and we are looking to see if there’s any other agencies that may not have spent their funds so we can help our folks here in the Upper Cumberland.”

Godsey said the city of Carthage created a separate pot of water assistance money on its own and gave it to the UCHRA to administer it through the same process. UCHRA Board Chair Randy Heady said he plans to meet with county mayors to discuss ways that the program can stay alive, whether through the UCHRA or on a county-by-county basis.

“How would we go about getting that funding back,” Heady said. “Electricity is important, I agree, but water’s more important. If you don’t believe me, try going without water for a couple of days. It’s not fun.”

The funds were passed down through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

Godsey said for the program to work, water vendors had to be on board with the means by which the water would be paid for and dispersed. She said the vendors had to have the program explained and agree to accept vouchers from the people who needed extra assistance with their water bills. She said the same will have to happen with an adjusted program in the future.

“The majority of the water vendors in the Upper Cumberland were able to do that,” Godsey said. “We did have some smaller districts that maybe their software wouldn’t set up to allow that to work. So it did require buy-in on those water vendors, but like I said, we were happy that the majority wanted to participate to help out their folks.”

Heady also discussed the possibility of looking into allocating existing UCHRA funds to be used to keep the service going once the funds run out.


The post UCHRA Looking For New Water Assistance Funding appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.