Help for Communities & Families

Help for Communities

Help for Individuals & Families

  • Assets for Independence Program

    Assets for Independence (AFI) enables community-based nonprofits and government agencies to implement and demonstrate an assets-based approach for giving low-income families a hand up out of poverty. AFI projects help participants save earned income in matched savings accounts called Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The program emphasizes enabling people to learn about and use sound budgeting and money management practices, to address financial issues, and to plan for long-term success. Especially when combined with other support services, the asset building approach helps families set goals and progress toward financial stability. Locate an AFI IDA project near you!

    The AFI Resource Center is a one-stop source for information on the Assets for Independence program and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). At, you can quickly learn about the AFI program and IDAs. You can also contact the AFI Resource Center at 1-866-778-6037 or for more information. 

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

    LIHEAP is designed "to assist low-income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes, that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs."  This assistance targets the costs of heating and cooling in residential dwellings.

    How to Apply: Unlike some Federal programs, applications, eligibility rules, types of assistance, and benefit levels can vary greatly among LIHEAP programs throughout the country. The Federal government does not send or accept applications for LIHEAP assistance. For information on applying for LIHEAP assistance, please contact your:

    LIHEAP State or Territory agency
    LIHEAP Indian Tribe or Tribal Organization agency

    You may also contact the National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project. NEAR is a free service providing information on where to apply for LIHEAP assistance. NEAR can be contacted by e-mail (please include your city, county and state in your e-mail message) or by using NEAR's toll-free phone number 1-866-674-6327 (or 1-866-NRG-NEAR).  You can also access the online referral directory here.

    Additional information about LIHEAP can be found in our Program Brochure. 

    Brochure, (PDF)
    Español, (PDF)

    You may also visit our Consumer Frequently Asked Questions for answers to commonly asked questions that you may have about LIHEAP assistance.  

    Indoor Health and Safety: Safe, reliable, and continuous home heating and cooling are a necessity of life. The inability to heat or cool one's home adequately can put people at risk for serious health and safety problems. Households with a frail, elderly, disabled person, or a young child are more prone to the effects of poorly regulated indoor temperatures.  For more information, please click here.

    Resources: More information related to low-income energy assistance can be found here.

    Other Federal Resources: If you are interested in other Federal benefits that you may qualify for, please visit the following web sites:

    •An overall resource for consumers on a variety of topics can be found at is the Federal government's benefits web site.  This is a free tool that can help you find government benefits that you may be eligible to receive.