Council members Ayers, Benson, Castaneda-Lopez, Jones, Leland and Sheffield opposed the rate increase; Cushingberry and Tate voted in favor of the increase and Spivey was absent.
In response Lynna Kaucheck, Senior Organizer for Food & Water Watch issued the following statement:
“We applaud the council members that voted to protect the Detroit residents who are struggling to pay their water bills by voting against the proposed rate increase. Approval of the rate increase without an income-based affordability plan in place would have been irresponsible.
“As of the beginning of this year, approximately half of all households in Detroit were more than 60 days past due on their water bill and owed and average of $647. At the same time, roughly 40,000 residents were living without any water running to their homes. The city needs an income-based affordability plan that would generate revenue for the water department while keeping water running to the taps of Detroiters.
“While city council took a bold step last night, across town Mayor Duggan refused to have a discussion with concerned Detroiters and their supporters from around the region about what a real affordability plan would like for Detroit.
“Water is a human right and all people deserve access to safe, affordable water and sanitation. Detroit is currently violating that right and we should not forget that people are watching how Detroit’s leaders handle this crisis. Last night city council took a step in the right direction while Mayor Duggan took two steps backwards.”
Contact: Lynna Kaucheck, Food & Water Watch, (586) 556-8805, lKaucheck(at)fwwatch(dot)org.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.