LIHWAP AT-2021-05 State Territories Initial Requirements FY2021

Publication Date: April 19, 2021

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program

Action Transmittal

AT#:                            LIHWAP-AT-2021-05

DATE:                         April 19, 2021

TO:                              State and Territorial Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Officials

SUBJECT:                 LIHWAP Terms and Conditions and Initial Application Materials

ATTACHMENT(S):  Attachment A - Terms and Conditions, Attachment B - SF-424M, Attachment C - SF-424M LIHWAP Instructions


Purpose: To provide instructions for State Territorial Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) Officials for acceptance of Terms and Conditions and submission of initial application materials for the new LIHWAP.

Background: On December 27, 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, included $638 million in emergency spending to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills. Additionally, on March 11, 2021, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 appropriated an additional $500 million to the LIHWAP program. Information on legislative instructions and prior ACF correspondence is available on the following weblink:

/ocs/programs/lihwap

Because this appropriation is provided as emergency assistance, the Office of Community Services has created an expedited process for the release of grants funds and requests that grantees create expedited procedures for the release and distribution of resources on behalf of eligible households.

Immediate Action Request:

To receive an initial grant award, the Governor’s Authorized Official within each eligible state and territory must review, sign, and return the Terms and Conditions for the LIHWAP funds and submit a SF-424 Standard Application Form for Federal Grant Funds by April 27, 2021.

The Terms and Conditions include a signature box for the Governor’s Authorized Official. There are two options for signature. 1) Electronic Signature — The Governor’s Authorized Official may sign the PDF version electronically with automatic date stamp; or 2) The Governor’s Authorized Official may sign a printed version of the Terms and Conditions and return an image of the signed document with a notation that the original will be retained on file. Terms and Conditions are included as Attachment A and are available on the following weblink:

/sites/default/files/documents/ocs/Attachment%20A_LIHWAP%20Terms%20and%20Conditions_State%20Signature%20Block.pdf (PDF)

The SF-424M (Standard Application Form) provides necessary information for the grant award. It is included as Attachment B and is available on the following weblink:

/sites/default/files/documents/ocs/Attachment%20B_LIHWAP_SF424_Mandatory.pdf (PDF)

LIHWAP Instructions for completion of the SF -424M are provided as Attachment C and are available on the following weblink:

/sites/default/files/documents/ocs/Attachment%20C_LIHWAP_424M%20State%20Instructions.pdf (PDF)

Submission Instructions:

Submit the signed Terms and Conditions and the completed SF-424M to the following email address: LIHWAPStates@acf.hhs.gov

No additional cover letter is required.

Next Steps

After receipt of the signed Terms and Conditions and SF-424M document, OCS will review to ensure all necessary information is included before issuing a grant award. The grantee may then expend funds for immediate expenses necessary for planning and administering the use of funds upon receipt of the award.

As outlined in the Terms and Conditions, grantees must provide a full LIHWAP implementation plan in order to begin payments to water utilities on behalf of households.  A comment version of the Model State LIHWAP plan is currently available on the following website:

/sites/default/files/documents/ocs/GDL_LIHWAP_Model%20Plan_FY2021.pdf (PDF)

Comments on this model plan may be provided through Tuesday, April 27, through an online survey on the following weblink:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LIHWAP_InputSurvey Visit disclaimer page

After reviewing comments and receiving approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), OCS will issue additional instructions for the Model LIHWAP State Plan submission as a follow-up Action Transmittal.

Contact and Questions

If you are a prospective state or territory LIHWAP grantee, please use the LIHWAP States email at LIHWAPStates@acf.hhs.gov.

Thank you for your attention to these matters. OCS looks forward to continuing to provide high-quality services to OCS grantees.

/s/
Lauren Christopher
Director, Division of Energy Assistance
Office of Community Services

Current as of: