Flap over water bill assistance funding in Detroit

- Is the money to help Detroiters in need drying out, some residents fear that's the case.

The Water Residential Assistance Program helps Detroit water customers financially with their water bills.

Thursday at a news conference top officials announced that contrary to some reports, the WRAP is not running out of money.

In fact, Brown, the head of the water and sewer department, says the program has more than $4 million available to help Detroit water customers with their bills.

So why was it reported that the program was out of money?

"We had reported to the Great Lakes Water Authority Board at the beginning of the month giving them a year-end close out report," said Louis Piszker, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. "Within that report we had stated that all the money had been spent and been committed. I think that's where the disconnect happened."

And in fact, the money had been spent for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. A misunderstanding everyone involved in the WRAP program wants to clarify.

"The program has more than 2,000 Detroit residents enrolled," Brown said. "And 40 communities participating in addition to Detroit.

But Meeko Williams from the Detroit Water Brigade - a grassroots organization that also helps people with their water bills -- says WRAP falls short.

"I feel like city officials at the top are not listening to those that are working in the community dealing with water shutoffs and restoration of water," he said.

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