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LIHEAP Dear Colleague Notice Allocation for Territories FY 2014

Published: November 22, 2013
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Dear Colleague Notices

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Dear Colleague Letter

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Division of Energy Assistance
370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20447

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/liheap

Re: FY 2014 LIHEAP Allocation for Territories

Date: November 22, 2013

 

Dear Territory LIHEAP Grantees:

We are pleased to inform you that the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved an increase to the total Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding set aside for the territory programs.  The FY 2014 set-aside will be increased to the statutory maximum of 0.5 percent.  This increase is expected to occur after the Continuing Resolution expires and the final 2014 appropriation is enacted by Congress and is signed into law by the President.  We do not expect this to happen before January 2014, but we will confirm the exact amount of additional funds you will receive at that time.

In the meantime, territories can receive 90% of last year’s territory funding set-aside, as authorized under the current Continuing Resolution (Public Law 113-6) which ends January 15, 2014.   You should already have received that initial grant award letter.  If you did not receive a letter, then it may be because your FY 2014 LIHEAP Plan is incomplete.  We will not issue funds if your plan or supporting documents are incomplete.  Please contact our staff to discuss the status of your plan if needed.  Staff contact information is at the end of this letter.

Below is a table showing how much the territories would have received if their share of funds had not changed ($4.4 million total for territories) and how much they will now receive, with a share of 0.5% of the total funding.  These amounts assume a final FY 2014 LIHEAP funding level of $3.29 billion, the amount provided by the Continuing Resolution.  To the extent the final LIHEAP funding level is different than this amount, final FY 2014 territorial funding amounts are likely to differ from amounts shown in this table.  

FY 2014 (LIHEAP)

dollars in thousands

Territorial Allocations

Annualized FY 2014 Amount

Revised FY 2014 Amount

 

 

 

American Samoa

73

270

Guam

160

591

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

56

205

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

3,977

14,682

U.S. Virgin Islands

151

559

     Subtotal, Territories

4,417

16,309

TOTAL RESOURCES

$3,290,083

$3,290,083

 

In June 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report titled, LIHEAP:  Greater Fraud Prevention Controls Needed, based on an investigation of seven state LIHEAP grantees’ programs.  The GAO found instances of improper LIHEAP payments for ineligible households, incorrect benefit amounts based on inaccurate household data, and payments to fraudulent energy vendors and landlords.  ACF considers program integrity to be a critical aspect of program management and has taken a number of steps to provide new guidance to LIHEAP grantees addressing program integrity.  The territories’ set aside will be nearly four times greater this year than in prior years.  Funding increases of this level warrant significant planning to prevent improper payments and successful implementation that results in the highest energy burden households receiving the most assistance. 

Our staff will begin making technical assistance calls with you to help you prepare for the implementation of additional funding.  If you have immediate questions, please contact the liaison assigned to your region to arrange a teleconference or webinar at your convenience.  The contact information for our staff is available on our LIHEAP web site at:  http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/resource/division-of-energy-assistance-federal-staff

Sincerely,

Jeannie L. Chaffin
Director
Office of Community Services