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Thousands of Flint Residents Are Facing Eviction For Failing to Pay for Water That’s Literally Poisonous

With a federal judge recently approving a $97 million settlement from the state of Michigan that will cover the cost of replacing water lines in at least 18,000 Flint households, it looks like the city is now trying to force residents to pay up on their water bills, and are threatening foreclosure if those bills aren’t paid.

Yes. You read that right.

Flint wants thousands of its residents to pay for water that had been deemed to have dangerous levels of lead and caused a water crisis in the city that has lasted over two years.

According to Michigan news station NBC 25, 8,000 Flint residents have received notices from the city threatening tax liens on their homes if they don’t catch up on their water bills. The city is issuing the notices to anyone who hasn’t paid their water bill in at least six months.

Melissa Mays, a water activist in Flint, told NBC 25 that she received a bill for nearly $900, saying it scared her “for probably the first time since this all started.” She has been given until May 19th to pay before a lien is placed on her home which could eventually lead to foreclosure. Mays said this goes against her morals as she doesn’t think she should pay for water she feels is literally “poison.”

The way the city sees it, they need to bring in revenue, so sending out these notices are necessary. According to city official Al Mooney, after the city sent out shut off warnings last month, they brought in $3 million. If they are able to collect on these recent tax lien notices, they could get up to $6 million.

Watch the news story above, via NBC 25.

UPDATE 3:50 PM ET: Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI) released a statement regarding the notices of tax liens sent to Flint residents:

“Flint families should not have to pay for water that they still cannot drink, and they certainly should not lose their homes over this ongoing water crisis that was caused by the callous decisions of state government. It is unfortunate that Governor Snyder ended water credits for Flint families. I opposed this decision because Flint families deserve support from the state until there is confidence in the water system again.”

[image via screengrab]

Follow Justin Baragona on Twitter: @justinbaragona

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