Auto companies, UW to help pay water bills

United Way, GM, Ford Motor give $200,000 to help Detroiters keep their water flowing


DETROIT — Two auto companies and the United Way announced $200,000 in donations Monday to help Detroit residents pay overdue water bills after criticism about the city’s aggressive shut-off policy.

Water shut-offs related to unpaid bills have been suspended since July 21 but will resume next week.

The new Detroit Water Fund will pay up to 25 percent of an overdue bill. To qualify, a customer must owe $300 or more, pay at least 10 percent up front, and meet other conditions, based on income.

United Way for Southeastern Michigan is giving $100,000, while the Ford Motor Fund and the General Motors Foundation are giving $50,000 each. More donors will be named soon.

“They have let Detroiters know they are not alone and their generous donations will be able to immediately begin assisting residents,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a written statement.

He urged residents to contact the city about payment plans to avoid a shut-off.