The ongoing saga of lead-contaminated water in Flint, Michigan, got yet another layer on May 4, when 8,002 residents received foreclosure notices for failure to pay their water bills, according to the Washington Post.
The notices came a few weeks after the city ended a program that assisted residents in paying bills for their contaminated water.
According to letters like this one sent to a local news station, residents will have until February 2018 to pay their past due water bills, but many refuse to pay for water that they believe remains contaminated. There have been a dozen deaths in Flint from Legionnaire’s disease believed to be caused by the contaminated water, in addition to dozens more linked to pneumonia outbreaks that experts believe was cause by the contamination, as well.
Melissa Mays, one of the main plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit that motivated the city to begin replacing the lead pipes contaminating the water supply earlier this year, told the Toronto Star in March, “we just don’t want to pay to have ourselves killed.” Mays, along with thousands of her neighbors, are now facing foreclosure, and told The Week that she plans on paying her $900 bill to avoid foreclosure.
“While I understand this is the way the law reads, we are in a totally different situation,” Mays said.