The water crisis in Flint, Michigan is far from over. While the media focus was on Flint, it appeared that the state of Michigan would provide their citizens with clean water. Since the media coverage has been on Trump, the state is issuing residents eviction notices for failure to pay for water, that is impossible to drink, cook with, or bathe in. The residents feel forgotten and believe pressure was taken off of the Michigan officials to address contamination, unfair water bills, and water shut-offs.
The government in Michigan is forcing residents to pay for the water they cannot use, plus the water has caused irreversible damage to their children, such as developmental delays, psychological and physical issues.
According to a New York Times report, the city has sent 8,002 letters to residents to collect $5.8M in unpaid water bills and sewer services. If the residents didn’t pay by May 19, “property liens were transferred to tax bills.” The result of this process could take away the residents homes, if they don’t pay their water bills by March 2018.
Currently, the people of Michigan are being charged the highest rates in the country for a commodity that they cannot use. Melissa Mays, a community organizer and founder of the clean water advocacy group Water You Fighting For, is one of the residents of Flint that has received a demand letter and threat of tax lien put on her house. Flint demanded Mays pay $891 in less than three weeks.
“Since the attention died down, yet again, we have had people get their water shut off, including undocumented residents who were not even sent any information in their languages.” The state has so far decided to stop paying for one of the two water systems that they forced on residents, and official are demanding that an impoverished and poisoned city “pick up the tab for everything,” Mays added.
Mays also contends lead is not the only problem with the water. Bacteria and cancer-causing byproducts are also in the water and are scaring the residents.
Right now the residents have been given a reprieve, and a moratorium has been placed on the liens until next year.