April 28, 2020
Washington state residents currently participating in the federal Low-Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may apply for special crisis benefits
OLYMPIA, WA — The Department of Commerce last week provided up to $1,000 in rental assistance and up to $500 in energy assistance for households that qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The crisis funding will be distributed through Commerce’s statewide network of community action agencies, and is expected to serve an estimated 5,000 eligible households.
“Imagine not having enough funds to pay rent, the heat bill, and put food on the table. Thousands of families in Washington face this predicament, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this crisis in our state,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “We are working with our partners to disperse this funding as quickly as possible.”
Community action agencies will distribute the money on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in place. Of the $9 million available, 15% is available for rental assistance. Tenants who are behind in their rent and meet the other qualifications for crisis benefits must apply to their local community action agency. If approved, the rental assistance payment will be made directly to the landlord.
Similarly, those unable to pay their energy bills must apply through their local community action agency. When approved, the benefit is paid to the utility that serves the qualifying household.
Click HERE for who can apply.