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HEAP Summer Crisis Program wraps up end of August

AUGUST 21, 2010

HEAP Summer Crisis Program wraps up end of August
Up to $175 still available for eligible households

From the Ohio Department of Development – Ohio Department of Development Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel wants to remind Ohioans who are elderly or have health problems that funding to assist eligible households with summer cooling costs through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program is available through August 31, 2010.

"With temperatures consistently in the 90s this week, I want to take this opportunity to encourage eligible families to apply for the Summer Crisis Program," Patt-McDaniel said. "The program is designed to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy during these hot summer months, and we don't want people to miss out on the help available to them."

So far this summer, 34,138 households have been approved for assistance through the Summer Crisis Program. Out of $6.4 million available, $4.9 million has been obligated to assist households with their cooling bills.
 

AUGUST 21, 2010

HEAP Summer Crisis Program wraps up end of August
Up to $175 still available for eligible households

From the Ohio Department of Development – Ohio Department of Development Director Lisa Patt-McDaniel wants to remind Ohioans who are elderly or have health problems that funding to assist eligible households with summer cooling costs through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Summer Crisis Program is available through August 31, 2010.

"With temperatures consistently in the 90s this week, I want to take this opportunity to encourage eligible families to apply for the Summer Crisis Program," Patt-McDaniel said. "The program is designed to keep our most vulnerable citizens safe and healthy during these hot summer months, and we don't want people to miss out on the help available to them."

So far this summer, 34,138 households have been approved for assistance through the Summer Crisis Program. Out of $6.4 million available, $4.9 million has been obligated to assist households with their cooling bills.

The HEAP Summer Crisis Program, administered by the Department's Community Development Division, provides assistance to low-income households with an elderly member (60 years or older), or a member of the household with documentation from a physician that cooling assistance is necessary. This includes people with breathing problems such as lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), or asthma (which the Centers for Disease Control estimates plagues more than 15 million Americans).

These households are eligible for electric bill payment assistance of up to $175. For many eligible customers, $175 will cover at least one month's electric bill. Residents are encouraged to work with their local community action agencies, job and family services, and faith-based organizations for additional assistance.

Last year, more than 42,000 Ohio families were assisted through the HEAP Summer Crisis Program. The gross income of eligible households must be at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines listed below:

Size of Household - Income
1 - up to $21,660
2 - up to $29,140
3 - up to $36,620
4 - up to $44,100
5 - up to $51,580
6 - up to $59,060
7 - up to $66,540
8 - up to $74,020

For households with more than eight members, add $7,480 for each additional member. For more information, call the toll-free HEAP hotline at (800) 282-0880. The hearing impaired may dial (800) 686-1557 for assistance. For information on the HEAP Summer Crisis Program, please click here or visit www.energyhelp.ohio.gov. The demand for cooling assistance has been extremely high this summer, so appointments with local HEAP providers are preferred.

Also, by visiting local HEAP agencies, customers can learn about the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP Plus) program, which begins November 1, 2010. PIPP Plus standardizes year-round customer payments, making it easier for customers to budget and helping good-paying customers get rid of old utility debt and avoid accruing new debt.

The Ohio Department of Development's Community Development Division  also administers other state and federally funded programs that benefit Ohio individuals and families, such as the Home Weatherization Assistance Program and Community Services Block Grant. The Community Development Division coordinates its programs to form a comprehensive strategy to build stronger, healthier communities throughout the state.