FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Christie Administration Assists More than 230,000 Families through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

New Jersey Households Receive More than $70 Million to Help Offset Cost of Winter Heating Bills



TRENTON, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that nearly 230,000 households received heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This round of funding, totaling more than $70 million, will assist residents in all 21 New Jersey counties. LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that assists low-income households with their heating bills and provides emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. The LIHEAP program is still open for applications, which will be accepted through April 30, 2014.

“The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is a much needed resource for low-income families that need assistance with their energy heating bills,” said DCA Commissioner Richard E. Constable III. “This first round of grants comes at a time when New Jersey residents are experiencing extreme cold weather temperatures and trying keeping their families warm.”

This past season, the program was able to assist more than 290,000 households of which 46 percent were senior households. The average LIHEAP benefit for a household is approximately $400 per season. The amount of the LIHEAP heating benefit is determined by income, household size, fuel type, and heating region.

To be eligible for LIHEAP benefits, households must be responsible for home heating or cooling costs, either directly or included in the rent; and have a gross income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program also provides energy crisis benefits (emergency assistance) if the household is eligible to receive such benefits, if the household is without heat or is in danger of being without heat and has insufficient income available to purchase fuel.

The LIHEAP application also serves as an application for the Universal Service Fund (USF) Program, which is state funded and administered by the Division of Housing and Community Resources. USF helps low-income households pay for their electric and natural gas costs. LIHEAP eligible households may also be eligible to receive USF assistance.  Applicants that apply will only need to apply once for both programs.  To be eligible for USF, a household gross income must be at or below 175% of the Federal Poverty Level, and pay more than 3% of its annual income for electric, or more than 3% for natural gas.  If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than 6% of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.

LIHEAP AWARDS BY COUNTY

COUNTY

NUMBER OF HOUSEHOLDS ASSISTED

TOTAL AMOUNT

Atlantic

11,610

$3,932,934

Bergen

11,990

$3,309,885

Burlington

8,073

$2,567,611

Camden

20,093

$6,486,266

Cape May

2,953

$1,054,538

Cumberland

7,890

$3,005,557

Essex

30,237

$8,280,211

Gloucester

7,741

$2,817,996

Hudson

28,855

$7,501,048

Hunterdon

1,163

$448,127

Mercer

12,183

$3,663,750

Middlesex

14,008

$3,890,277

Monmouth

9,529

$2,890,194

Morris

5,641

$1,808,979

Ocean

16,738

$5,213,518

Passaic

23,572

$6,544,055

Salem

3,239

$1,295,595

Somerset

2,410

$713,157

Sussex

2,004

$984,454

Union

10,736

$2,917,276

Warren

2,561

$1,070,098

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL:

233,226

$70,395,537

Eligible residents can apply through select community-based organizations. To find the nearest organization accepting applications, people may visit www.nj.gov/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/localagencies.html or call 1-800-510-3102 (LIHEAP).