Louisville residents struggling to pay utility bills can now seek financial aid through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
The federal, income-based program provides funding to help low-income residents cover the costs of heat and electricity services during winter.
Louisville residents can qualify if they earn up to 130 percent of the federal poverty level, said Darrell Aniton, a program supervisor for Metro Community Services. A family of three, for example, can earn no more than $2,100 monthly to qualify for assistance through LIHEAP.
Residents must schedule an in-person appointment to apply, according to a Metro news release. Appointments can be set from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays at three locations. (Specific locations are listed below.)
Other options are available for home-bound residents. Residents can send representatives in their place or call (502) 574-1274.
According to the Metro news release, interested residents must bring the following to their scheduled appointment:
- Proof of all household income for the preceding month. If there is no income in the household, please complete a “proof of no income” form before applying. The forms are available at 810 Barret or here.
- Social Security cards or officials documentation with Social Security numbers or Permanent Resident card numbers for everyone living in the household.
- Most recent heating bill or verification from landlord that heating expenses are included in the rent.
Last winter, the program assisted nearly 20,000 Louisville residents with a total of nearly $4.2 million, Aniton said.
But Cathy Hinko, executive director of the Metropolitan Housing Coalition, told a Louisville Metro Council earlier this year that city officials let more than $300,000 in program assistance funds go unused.
That money was returned to the federal program, she said.
Metro Councilman David Yates, a District 25 Democrat and chair of the intergovernmental affairs committee, said he would work to address this and other concerns before winter sets in.
A spokesman for Yates said the details of the allocation process will be monitored this winter to ensure funds are distributed in an efficient and effective manner.
The three LIHEAP offices are:
- Urban Government Center, 810 Barret Ave., (502) 574-1157
- Newburg Community Center, 4810 Exeter Ave., (502) 574-1270 (Office closed for LIHEAP on Friday.)
- Southwest Government Center, 7219 Dixie Highway, (502) 574-1272
This story has been updated with comments from a spokesman for Councilman David Yates.