Help Us Understand How Water Debt Is Affecting Chicagoans

Water debt callout blank
Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ
Water debt callout blank
Katherine Nagasawa / WBEZ

Help Us Understand How Water Debt Is Affecting Chicagoans

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Are you getting calls from debt collectors asking you to pay an overdue water bill? If so, I want to hear from you.

I’m María Inés Zamudio, a reporter for WBEZ’s Race, Class, and Communities team. I’ve been investigating how water debt is crushing low-income Chicagoans and disproportionately affecting Black residents. Over the last five years alone, Chicagoans owed $55.7 million in unpaid water bills. About 83% of that debt is concentrated in many of the city’s majority Black ZIP codes.

I want to understand how water debt affects homeowners and investigate whether the city’s debt collection program is working.

I hope to publish my story this fall, so please fill this out by Aug. 3.

Note:We know this is a topic that’s not often talked about publicly, and we want to assure you that your personal information will be kept confidential. We will not publish any information about you unless a reporter directly reaches out for your permission.