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Financial Assistance Utility Rate Relief Program

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This program allows eligible customers to apply for a discounted rate for the service charge portion of their bill. Approved applicants will receive a fifty percent reduction in the service charge portion of their bill.


This policy applies to residential customers of OLWS  seeking rate relief on the basis of low-income resulting in economic hardship (like a fixed income).


Applicants for the program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Residence within OLWS; and
  • The property served must be occupied and used by the applicant as his or her principal residence during the period for which a reduced rate is applied and the applicant owns no other property; and
  • The account is currently in good standing with no outstanding balances; and
  • Proof of income status - applicants must file with OLWS proof of eligibility in the form of a federal or state tax filing from the previous year, or other acceptable official document as the District may require.
  • Total income of the applicant's household or family must be at or below the "Very Low Income" level for the Portland-Vancouver area, as determined annually by the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, most recent version (2024 allowed income level is $41,300 for a single person household, $47,200 for 2 people, $53,100 for 3 people, $59,000 for a 4 people, $63,750 for 5 people, $68,450 for 6 people, $73,200 for 7 people, and $77,900 for an 8-person household); 
  • Family means one person, or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, legal adoption, or guardianship; or a group of not more than five persons, all or part of whom are not related by blood, marriage, legal adoption, or guardianship living together as a simple housekeeping and economic unit in the dwelling occupying the property for which the reduced rate is applied; and
  • Rate reductions, if granted, are based on complete calendar months and commence on the first day of the month following the date the application is approved by the General Manager; and
  • Once approved the rate relief will last for 12 months. It is the applicant's duty to reapply for the program annually. If the District has not received the renewal application 30 days prior to the expiration of the 12-month period, the rate will revert to the standard service charge; and
  • Billings will not be prorated for partial month eligibility; and
  • OLWS will not retroactively adjust charges.

See the attachments below for the complete policy and application form. For questions please call (503) 654-7765 or email

Supporting Documents:

Application - Financial Assistance Utility Rate Relief Program - 2024Information - Financial Assistance Utility Rate Relief Program - 2024Policy - Financial Assistance Utility Rate Relief Program 
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