CHICAGO (CBS) — Some Chicago residents who have been drowning in water bills may not have to pay their overdue bills after all.

The City of Chicago announced Thursday that it has set aside nearly $9 million for the Chicago Utility Billing Relief Program.

READ MORE: Over 74,000 Unemployment Claims Filed In Illinois Last Week Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The program has already cut water bills in half for more than 8,000 low-income residents.

Those who have paid a reduced rate for one year will be eligible to have their past-due balance wiped clean.

READ MORE: 2 Killed In High-Speed Crash On Southwest Side

To be eligible for the program, you must own a single-family home or a two-flat in Chicago. Your name must be on the water bill, and your income must be below $4,367 a month for a family of four.

“Dismantling the historically regressive fines and fees practices that have crippled many of our communities has been a top priority of my administration from day one, and the economic pressures created by COVID-19 have only compounded the need for programs like UBR to help struggling families trying to make ends meet,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a news release. “Utility billing relief and other financial reforms we’ve rolled out since I came into office give the tens of thousands of Chicago residents who accumulate debt each year a pathway into compliance and are part of our broader effort to ensure we are creating equitable policies that work for all Chicagoans.”

Low-income homeowners may check their eligibility for the program at www.chicago.gov/ubr, where they can follow the prompts to complete the income verification process. Residents may also contact the City’s Utility Billing & Customer Service Center at 312-744-4426 or utilitybill@cityofchicago.org to learn more.

MORE NEWS: Seniors Can Schedule COVID Vaccine Appointments At The United Center Beginning Thursday

Also From CBS Chicago:

CBS 2 Chicago Staff