DCA Seeking Additional USF/HEA Application Agencies
Agencies Handle Applications, Processing and Provide Program Information

TRENTON - Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria today announced that in an effort to better serve the low-income residents of New Jersey, the Office of Home Energy Assistance is soliciting applications for additional USF/HEA agencies. The application period is January 30, 2009 through March 2, 2009.

"When Governor Corzine increased the income eligibility for these programs last year, he made clear his commitment to assisting those New Jersey residents most in need," said Commissioner Doria. "Adding more application agencies will be another tool in processing applications and assisting more people so that they can receive home energy assistance."

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance. Last fall, the Governor raised income eligibility for this program from 175% of the federal poverty level to 225%. This increase will allow approximately 50,000 more households to be eligible for LIHEAP (projected households is 245,000, compared to 196,000 last year). USF/HEA designated agencies are responsible for application intake, application processing and responding to applicant questions about the program and application status. Application intake for the USF program is 12 months a year. Application intake for the LIHEAP is from November 1 through April 30 each year.

Applications are now being accepted through the web-based NJ SAGE system. For IRS 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organizations interested in becoming a DCA-designated USF/HEA agency, please visit https://njdcasage.state.nj.us/Portal.asp.

Eligible IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profits applying to serve the following counties will receive an additional consideration on their application: Atlantic, Cape May, Gloucester, Monmouth, and Somerset.

Interested nonprofits are invited to an information workshop from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Monday, February 9, 2009, in Room 816 at DCA, located at 101 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ.

For further information on LIHEAP and USF, call toll-free: 1-800-510-3102, or log on to http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/hea.html.