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HHS Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program

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Description

The Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a federally funded program that will receive about $3.69 billion from Congress in FY 2019.1 Administered by the Department of Health and Human Services, the primary goal of LIHEAP is to provide grants between $200 and $1000 to subsidize the energy and utility costs for income-eligible households. A portion of LIHEAP funds, up to 15%, can also be used for low-cost household weatherization or energy infrastructure upgrades, including window and door repair.2 Like the WAP, there are guidelines that govern whether lead hazard reduction measures can be covered. Window and door repair is allowable under “air infiltration costs or the $500 miscellaneous repair costs as provided by the LIHEAP priority List.”3

Strategic Implementation

In order to deploy LIHEAP funds to address lead hazards in housing, states can receive approval from HHS for an increased portion of LIHEAP funds to be directed to health and safety upgrades in properties receiving energy efficiency upgrades. In 2017, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection increased the use of LIHEAP funds to address health and safety hazards, in order to allow more low-income homes with health and safety hazards to receive energy efficiency upgrades, reducing the residents’ energy burden and limiting the long term need for energy assistance.

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