Thousands of homeowners in Flint are at risk of foreclosure if they don’t pay up on their water bills, according to NBC 25 News, a local NBC affiliate.

When sending shut-off notices in March didn’t have an immediate impact, the city began threatening tax liens on people’s homes, The Fader reports.

If the homeowners given warning don’t pay, laws across the country allow city governments to foreclose their homes.

“We have to have revenue coming in, so we can’t…give people water at the tap and not get revenue coming in to pay those bills,” Al Mooney, a representative for Flint’s treasury department, told NBC 25 News.

Flint residents were given subsidies for water bills after Barack Obama declared a state of emergency over the water crisis. The subsidies were pulled back in February once Michigan representatives ruled that Flint’s water met the guidelines for lead levels.

It’s a curious move, as residents of the city of Flint went quite a while without clean drinking water. And some still don’t to this day.

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