New Application Date For LIHEAP Begins Oct. 1

Monday, June 17, 2013

New Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) applicants will need to apply on Oct. 1 instead of July 1. Administration of the federal program designed to assist households of low income pay utility bills will be transferred from the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA) effective Oct. 1.

Given LIHEAP’s transition to THDA, funds offered through the program will now be awarded to coincide with the federal fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

“Transitioning LIHEAP was identified during our Customer Focused Government process, formally known as the Top to Bottom Review, as a potential opportunity to increase efficiency and effectiveness in service to the people of Tennessee, said Department of Human Services’ Commissioner Raquel Hatter. “DHS is excited about this transition to improve customer service through better service alignment. We look forward to continued collaboration with community partners and THDA.”

“We have a long history in working through local providers,” said Ralph M. Perrey, executive director of THDA. “I see a strong connection between LIHEAP and our existing housing assistance programs.”

LIHEAP’s mission is to assist households of low income -- particularly those who pay a high proportion of household income for home energy bills -- in helping them meet their immediate home energy needs. In state fiscal year 2012, LIHEAP served over 145,000 Tennessee households.

The on-going application process continues through the transition.

Households that have not received LIHEAP assistance since July 2012 will be considered eligible for services through September 30, 2013.

Households that have received LIHEAP assistance since July 2012 can re-apply Oct. 1, in the next funding round.

Households are served on a priority point system specifically targeted toward persons who are elderly, disabled and/or under the age of six. LIHEAP payments are made directly to the local utility company or energy supplier. A network of community service providers process the applications. For more information on LIHEAP and to view a list of LIHEAP agencies, visit http://tn.gov/humanserv/adfam/afs_hea.html

THDA administers the Housing Choice Voucher / Section 8, Weatherization, HOME and the THDA-funded Housing Trust Fund among other programs.

LIHEAP regulations establish 150 percent of the poverty level as the maximum income level allowed in determining eligibility. Income levels, maintained in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, are viewable at http://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty/11poverty.shtml. Currently, a Tennessee family of four with a household income no greater than $34,575 would meet eligibility requirements


Chattanooga Developer Names Referral Agent For Bahamian Island

David Harris of Associated Island Developers, LTD is partnering with Gina Sakich of Signature Brokers to help make island living a reality for Chattanoogans. Mr. Harris purchased Escape Cay, which is a short two-hour flight from Atlanta, in the Bahamas. The island, which consists of 120 acres, will not only provide homes and a resort, but will also be a hub for environmental ... (click for more)

Fall Home And Remodeling Expo Is Aug. 23 And 24

The Fall Home and Remodeling Expo will be next weekend on Aug. 23 and 24, at the Chattanooga Trade and Convention Center. Organizers said, "Come see the latest home products and services and landscaping for your remodeling project or new home." Some of the products to see are kitchens, appliances, countertops, flooring, siding, painting, roofing, outdoor living, pools, etc. ... (click for more)

Jury Finds In Favor Of Texas Sheriff In Suit Brought By Chattanooga Photographer

A Federal Court jury on Friday found in favor of a Texas sheriff and his chief deputy who had been sued by a Chattanooga photographer. The jury in the courtroom of Judge Curtis Collier awarded no damages to Donna Johnson. In his closing argument after a two-week civil trial, attorney John Anderson said, "This is about the Fourth Amendment." Attorney Anderson represented Ms. ... (click for more)

Justin Wilkins Selected As Deputy Chief Of Staff For Mayor Berke

Native Chattanoogan Justin Wilkins will serve as Mayor Andy Berke's deputy chief of staff, it was announced Friday. Mr. Wilkins has spent the last several years serving as the Tennessee state director for multiple advocacy and electoral organizations, including Organizing for America and Organizing for Action. Prior to that, he worked as project manager at Profit Plans LLC ... (click for more)

Mackey Should Be Thankful For The State Troopers On Highway 153

This is in response to a statement made by Warren Mackey at the commission meeting.  His question was to the mayor regarding the state troopers writing tickets on Highway 153, saying they were on a rampage.   It is apparent that Mr. Mackey doesn’t travel this highway.  His only concern was that the ticket money was going into state funds and not into county funds. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Must-Read For Parents

If you have a child or if you love one, what you are about to read could be one of the most important lessons in your life. I have a great friend in Dallas – Sandy Pohfal – who regularly shares stories with me that are moving, inspirational or important. This is all three. This story was written by a celebrated author, Christie Craig. She has written hundreds of articles for ... (click for more)