Flint Residents Could Lose Their Homes Over Unpaid Bills for Poisoned Water
'I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me,' local resident says of tax lien notice
The city of Flint, where the pipes have still not been fixed and the water crisis is ongoing, is threatening to place tax liens on people's homes for non-payment of water bills, according to a local news source.
NBC affiliate 25News reported Tuesday that more than 8,000 people have received notice from the city that they are "at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure if they don't pay up on their water bills" by May 19.
"We have to have revenue coming in, so we can't give people...water at the tap and not get revenue coming in to pay those bills," Al Mooney of the city's Treasury Department said to the outlet.
Melissa Mays, a Flint mother and water activist, told the station of the notice: "I got scared, for probably the first time since this all started this actually scared me." Mays plans to "go against what she believes" and pay the $900 she owes in order to ensure she doesn't lose her home, 25News reports.
As Common Dreams reported in late April, three years after the crisis began, Flint still does not have clean water. Residents must purchase filters to reduce the lead in their water, and the city says it will be three more years before all of the city's lead pipes are replaced.
In March, the state of Michigan ended a program that reimbursed residents for most of their water costs in the wake of the lead crisis, and in April, the city began shutting off water service to residents with past due bills.