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Water utility deferral program

Existing applicants must apply to the program annually and verify continued eligibility.

The City of Ottawa offers a deferral program for water utility bills for low-income seniors and low-income people with disabilities. Under the program, payment of water bills is deferred for applicants who meet the current program requirements.  The City also offers a property tax deferral program for low-income seniors and persons with disabilities.

Applicants shall submit a renewal application annually no later than the 1st day of July in the year the deferral is sought. There is no deadline for first time applicants.  The applicant agrees to provide the necessary information to the municipality in order to demonstrate that eligibility requirements have been met. The applicant also signs a waiver providing the municipality access to personal information for the purpose of confirming eligibility.  

Interest

Interest on the deferred amounts will be charged at the rate of 5% per annum. These costs will be charged to the tax account.

Repayment

The unpaid water deferral shall become due and payable at the earliest of the following dates:

  • the applicant(s) no longer meets eligibility criteria such as income;
  • the property is sold or transferred;
  • upon the death of the applicant, unless the applicant is survived by a spouse who continues to qualify for deferral (The water deferral cannot be transferred to the estate of deceased owner(s));
  • When the total cumulative amount of deferred taxes and water charges, plus fees and interest, exceeds 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.

Deferral amounts represent a lien against the property under provisions established under Subsection 319 (4) and Section 349(3) of the Municipal Act 2001 as amended.

  • Water bills must be paid up to date and cannot be in arrears
  • If the property is owned by more than one person who are not spouses, then all owners must apply and qualify.
  • Applicant(s) must have continuously owned the property within the City of Ottawa for at least one year before applying for the deferral.
  • The property must be the principal residence of applicant(s).
  • Property must be assessed in the residential/farm property tax class
  • Total cumulative amount of deferred taxes and water and sewer charges, plus fees and interest, may not exceed 40 per cent of the assessed value of the property.
  • The applicant(s)’ total gross household income from all sources is $43,561 (for 2020) or less. This amount includes income of all residents in the home. The threshold will be increased annually and is based on the annual Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Must meet one of the following criteria:
    1. The applicant or the applicant’s spouse, must be at least 65 years of age and be eligible for benefits under Old Age Security (OAS) pension
    2. be receiving on-going disability benefits (such as, the Ontario Disability Support Program) or be eligible to claim a disability amount on your Canada Revenue Agency Income Tax and Benefit Return.

You will require your water customer/account number and statement of income indicating gross income for the previous year.

  • A non-refundable application fee will be charged to the tax account upon receipt of the application.
  • A non-refundable renewal fee for subsequent year applications, will be charged to the tax account.
  • Approved applicants are responsible for all legal costs associated with the deferral. Legal costs typically relate to title searches, as staff may conduct an annual title search on the property. All legal costs will be charged to the tax account.

Online

Water Utility Bill Deferral form

In writing

Email

taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca

Mail
City of Ottawa, Revenue Services
100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East
Ottawa, ON
K2G 6J8
Attn: Property Tax Deferral Program

Phone

613-580-2740 (TTY 613-580-2401) Transactions will be recorded for training and verification purposes.

In-person

Note that the in-person drop in option is currently not available due to COVID-19 closures.

City of Ottawa, Revenue Services
100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8

An acknowledgment letter will be mailed to you upon receipt of your application. Once we have reviewed your application for eligibility, a letter of either approval or denial will be mailed to your attention.

Email

taxdeferralprogram@ottawa.ca

Phone

613-580-2740 (TTY: 613-580-2401) Monday to Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm (June to August, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m). Transactions will be recorded for training and quality assurance.​​​​​​​

Mail

City of Ottawa, Revenue Services
100 Constellation Drive, 4th floor East,
Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8
Attn: Water Deferral Program