Don’t ignore Baltimore’s emergency sewer repair success stories
October 25, 2019
Field technician Jeff Howard uses a camera that can be snaked into drains to inspect sewer lines in the Ashburton neighborhood of West Baltimore. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)
A recent article, “Baltimore programs to help residents pay for failing water and sewer pipes aren’t paying much out” (Oct. 11), failed to report on the benefits and successes of the partnership the City of Baltimore established with HomeServe.
Since 2014, the city and HomeServe have had a program in place to allow homeowners to purchase optional repair service plans that protect against the expense and inconvenience of failures to the water and sewer lines that connect their homes to the city systems. These service lines are the responsibility of the homeowner to repair. Since the program launched, over 33,000 Baltimore residents have signed up for one or more service plans and over 23,000 repairs have been made for them.
The total savings to homeowners associated with these repairs to this infrastructure is astonishing — more than $13.4 million. Additionally, during this time, HomeServe has completed more than $96,000 in goodwill repairs, meaning repairs done above and beyond their service plan or for non-customers who are in need.
The focus of the previously mentioned article was the fund that was created as part of the partnership to assist low-income residents. Instead of receiving an administrative fee from HomeServe, the city requested that HomeServe establish this fund to assist with emergency water and sewer line repairs. It is important to note that, per the city guidelines, the fund can only be used to help customers faced with a water or sewer line repair emergency. No other home repairs, or any other uses, are covered based on the terms of the fund.
Residents requesting aid come through the city and are referred to HomeServe. HomeServe then arranges for the repairs to be completed at no cost by a local, qualified contractor. HomeServe and our network of locally-based contractors value being a part of a truly successful program with Baltimore over the past five years. The company is ready and able to assist all homeowners the city refers to us through the low-income assist fund.
SVP Public Relations, HomeServe