Trouble With Your Water Bill

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused financial hardship for many New Yorkers, who have to make difficult choices between paying for basic needs like rent and health care and paying utility bills. To partially address this, New York State created temporary laws to protect access to water during the public health emergency. But many New Yorkers don’t know these laws exist and living without water or living with the threat of having their water shut-off.

To protect access to water for low-income New Yorkers during and after the pandemic, the Public Utility Law Project (PULP), Public Access Design Fellow, Arthur Kim, and CUP collaborated on Trouble With Your Water Bill? 

The guide explains the different types of water companies, the different rights people have depending on their water company, and the practical steps New Yorkers can take to keep their water on or correct a wrongful shut-off. With this information, New Yorkers. With this information, New Yorkers can claim their rights to water access now and in the future.

PULP will launch Trouble With Your Water Bill? during a webinar at the Rural Housing Coalition of New York’s annual conference. This guide will be distributed through PULP’s technical assistance programs and through legal services organizations, housing rights advocates, and elected officials.

Resources & Links

PULP is a 40-year-old statewide independent not-for-profit law firm whose sole mission is to advocate, educate, and litigate on behalf of low-, middle-, and fixed-income New York utility ratepayers.

Arthur Kim is a product designer based in the cowboy state.

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them.

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Tecovas Foundation and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and Council Members Brad Lander and Antonio Reynoso.

Special Thanks

Harriet Cornell, Robert Hayes, Colin McKnight, Maribel Rivera, Marva Threat, Rita Gomez, and Amaya Cantero


Genea Foster
Pilar Finuccio


Rosa Maria Castillo-Kesper
Richard Berkley
Ian Donaldson


Arthur Kim