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LIHEAP Information Memoranda 2014-4 American Community Survey Tabulation

Published: April 3, 2014
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Information Memorandums (IM)

LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY
 ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

Information Memorandum

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

Transmittal No.  LIHEAP-IM-2014-04                             Date:  April 3, 2014

TO:        LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP) GRANTEES AND OTHER INTERESTED PARTIES

ACTION
INTENDED FOR:     __X___STATES

                                __X__ TRIBES / TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS

                               ______TERRITORIES

SUBJECT:      American Community Survey Tabulation of LIHEAP Income-eligible Households

RELATED               The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Act, Title XXVI of the
REFERENCES:       Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 8621 et seq.

Specifically, Section 2604(d) of the LIHEAP statute [42 U.S.C. § 8623(d)] states:

(1) If, with respect to any State, the Secretary--

(A) receives a request from the governing organization of an Indian tribe within the State that assistance under this title be made directly to such organization; and

(B) determines that the members of such tribe would be better served by means of grants made directly to provide benefits under this title; the Secretary shall reserve from amounts which would otherwise be payable to such State from amounts allotted to it under this title for the fiscal year involved the amount determined under paragraph (2).

(2) The amount determined under this paragraph for a fiscal year is the amount which bears the same ratio to the amount which would (but for this subsection) be allotted to such State under this title for such fiscal year (other than by reason of section 2607(b)(2)) as the number of Indian households described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 2605(b)(2) and residing within the State on the reservation of the tribes or on trust lands adjacent to such reservation bears to the number of all households described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 2605(b)(2) in such State, or such greater amount as the Indian tribe and the State may agree upon. In cases where a tribe has no reservation, the Secretary, in consultation with the tribe and the State, shall define the number of Indian households for the determination under this paragraph.

PURPOSE:    The purpose of this Information Memorandum is to provide updated data on:

  1. the number of LIHEAP income-eligible households living  in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia;
  2. the number of Native American LIHEAP income-eligible households living on reservations and off-reservation trust lands; and
  3. the percent represented by households described in item 2 above as a portion of all LIHEAP income-eligible households within the State in which the reservation is located.

BACKGROUND:     The Office of Community Services (OCS) uses two methods to determine the LIHEAP allocation for tribes or tribal organizations that wish to become directly-funded LIHEAP grantees.  The first is to rely on an agreement between the tribe and the state in which the tribe’s reservation is located.  This agreement represents a mutually-agreed upon portion of the state’s gross LIHEAP allocation that would be granted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directly to the tribe. 

In the absence of such an agreement, OCS relies on data from the U.S. Census Bureau to determine the number of Native American LIHEAP income-eligible households living on the tribe’s reservation.  That number is then divided by the total number of LIHEAP income-eligible households residing within the state in which the reservation is located.  This calculation results in a percentage, which is applied to the state’s gross LIHEAP allocation to determine the LIHEAP award for the tribe.

The most recent data OCS has been using to determine these allocations is from the 2000 Census.  In the past year, OCS has worked with the U.S. Census Bureau to update our data, using the American Community Survey.  This Information Memorandum explains the methodology used by the U.S. Census Bureau to provide updated LIHEAP income-eligible household counts.

CONTENT:    The U.S. Census Bureau used the American Community Survey to complete two custom tabulations for OCS.  Specifically, the Census Bureau used five-year estimates covering 2007-2011 from its American Community Survey. The five-year methodology was chosen because it provides the lowest margin of error for counting small communities, such as populations living on reservations.  In the past, OCS has relied on the decennial U.S. Census for these tabulations; however, OCS switched to the American Community Survey because the decennial Census no longer includes household income data.  

 The two custom tabulations from the U.S. Census Bureau provide OCS with:

  1. the number of LIHEAP income-eligible households living  in each of the 50 States and the District of Columbia; and
  2. the number of Native American LIHEAP income-eligible households living on reservations and off-reservation trust lands.

For the purposes of both tabulations, LIHEAP income-eligibility was defined as the greater of 150% of the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines published by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or 60% of each State’s median income, as published by OCS for optional use by LIHEAP grantees in FY 2013 and mandatory use in FY 2014.

In counting LIHEAP income-eligible Native American households in the tribal tabulation, a Native American household was considered as any household with at least one member age 18 or older who self-identifies as Native American.  Depending on the type of Native American area (e.g., American Indian Reservations, Alaskan Native Village Statistical Areas, or Hawaiian Homelands), a Native American household is defined as:

  • an American Indian or Alaska Native (AIAN) “alone or in combination” household; or
  • a Native Hawaiian “alone or in combination” household.

Specific Tribal affiliation or enrollment was not taken into consideration.

In the tribal tabulation, Native American income-eligible households were counted if they resided on a Census Bureau designated American Indian Area, Alaskan Native Area or Hawaiian Homeland. This includes:

  • Federally-recognized reservations and off-reservation trust lands;
  • State-recognized reservations;
  • Oklahoma Tribal Statistical Areas (OTSAs);
  • Hawaiian Homelands;
  • Tribal Designated Statistical Areas (TDSAs);
  • State Designated American Indian Statistical Areas (SDAISAs); and
  • Alaskan Native Village Statistical Areas (ANVSAs).

The household count for some tribal grantees may not accurately reflect their full service territory. In some cases tribal grantees have agreements with states to serve Native American households outside of the reservation boundaries. See Attachment 3 for a list of all known tribal grantees with service territories not included in the tribal custom tabulation.

INQUIRIES TO:    Yuliya Rzad
                            Program Analyst
                            Division of Energy Assistance
                            Office of Community Services
                            Telephone:  (202) 401-9289
                            E-mail:  yuliya.rzad@acf.hhs.gov

ATTACHMENTS:    1 State Tabulation
                               2 Tribal Tabulation and Allocation Percentages
                               3 Tribal Service Territories not included in Tribal Tabulation

                       

___/s/_______________________                       ____/s/______________________

Jeannie L. Chaffin                                                   Lauren Christopher
Director                                                                   Director
Office of Community Services                                 Division of Energy Assistance