The City of Detroit began shutting off water access to residents behind on payments Tuesday, with thousands at risk of losing access.
According to the Detroit Free Press, 64,769 delinquent residential customers owe the city’s water department a combined $48.9 million.
That figure tops the estimated 41,000 individuals who Food and Water Watch (FWW), an advocacy group, says lacked any water as of January (there is likely overlap between the groups).
The city started sending out shut-off warnings May 11. According to the Free Press, Mayor Mike Duggan is proceeding with the shutoff orders over the wishes of city council members, who voted on May 12 to freeze the shutoff until an assistance plan to help affected residents was enacted.
Last year, the United Nations warned the city that the shutoffs were violations of residents’ human rights, and called on the city to stop them and reconnect their houses.
” UN looking for the door to open “