PINEY FLATS, Tenn. (WJHL) — The Upper East Tennessee Human Development Agency (UETHDA) was in Piney Flats on Monday providing financial assistance to qualifying residents that are delinquent on utility bills.

UETHDA’s mobile bus was stationed in the parking lot of Food City in Piney Flats and will make its way to several more Food City locations during May. A full calendar of UETHDA’s stops this month can be found on the organization’s Facebook page.

The financial assistance is possible thanks to federal COVID grant money that UETHDA received to help low-income households pay their utility bills. UETHDA leaders said this is a one-time program that expires when the grant funding is used up, anticipated for September 30, 2023.

Eligibility depends on income limits; for example, a household of four can make no more than $50,902 annually in order to qualify. Those wanting to receive financial help with delinquent water bills must first complete an application and be accepted, which can be done at a UETHDA outreach bus, online, by mail, by phone at 423-246-6180 or at one of UETHDA’s neighborhood service centers across the region.

“You get $250 [minimum], so that if your water bill is $50, then you still have $200 the next month,” UETHDA staff member Kathy Luckett told News Channel 11. “It just keeps going until it’s all used up.”

An applicant’s water department must be a participating water agency, and UETHDA said most local water departments are participating in the program.