Help with Heating Assistance: 2018-2019 LIHEAP Pennsylvania Advocates Manual

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) has released its 2018-2019 Pennsylvania Advocates Manual for those seeking funds from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for those they serve.

The applications and guidelines for LIHEAP often change from year to year, and these changes can be confusing for both applicants and their advocates. The LIHEAP Manual is a working reference that aids understanding of and access to the benefits provided by Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP.

Many customers eligible do not apply, and those who do often receive less than their potential benefits. 

Download the 2018-2019 LIHEAP Pennsylvania Advocates Manual and share it with advocates and service providers across the Commonwealth!

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) provides information, assistance, and advice about residential utility and energy matters affecting low-income consumers. PULP serves all of Pennsylvania. PULP is a specialized component of Regional Housing Legal Services and is based in Harrisburg, the state capital of Pennsylvania. PULP acts in coordination with the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network of Programs and other nonprofit agencies and community groups.

RHLS Adopts New Strategic Plan

RHLS’s Board of Directors has adopted a new strategic plan for 2018-2021. The Board and Staff were actively engaged in thinking through where RHLS has been, what it is currently doing, and where it wants to go. We have created an ambitious plan that has us broadening the focus of our work to better serve low-income and vulnerable Pennsylvanians: health & housing and equity.

Further, recognizing that housing and community development in the United States is historically intertwined with questions of equity—especially racial equity—RHLS intends to expand its existing work to increase meaningful housing and community choices for low-income households.

Housing is increasingly considered a significant social determinate of health. As such, RHLS will use our extensive experience in housing and community development to add real value to those seeking to address housing from the health perspective. We know that the housing and health worlds are very different, but we are committed to learning more about health and working at the intersection of these two issues.

Most importantly, RHLS will press on with the affordable housing work that we have done for decades. It is the core of who and what we are. We look forward to using this work as the foundation that will enable us to bring value to the health and equity priority areas.

Look out for updates on social media and via the RHLS email list as the plan takes shape.

Read the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan

 

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project LIHEAP Manual is Available for Download

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) LIHEAP Manual for 2017-2018 is available to download.

LIHEAP Manual 2017-2018

 

From the authors:

We are pleased to provide you with the 2017-2018 electronic edition of The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Pennsylvania Advocates Manual. The manual is developed and produced by the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project (PULP) for use by members of
the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network and others who assist low-income individuals. We hope that you find it to be of value to you and the members of your staff. Please feel free to copy as needed, circulate, and maintain a copy in your reference library.

The updated 2017-2018 Manual is different from earlier editions circulated in prior years. Please replace any older version. This year’s edition reflects program changes, current forms, references, website links, as well as additional issues and advocacy suggestions. The footnotes contain citations to the 17-18 LIHEAP State Plan1 and relevant legal authority for your
reference. In the Appendices, you will find contact lists and resources to assist in your advocacy.

The different aspects and components of LIHEAP often change from year to year and can be confusing to advocates and applicants. Many eligible consumers do not apply, and those who do apply often receive less than their full potential benefits. We intend this Manual to be a working reference that aids understanding of and access to the benefits provided by Pennsylvania’s LIHEAP. We value and request your input regarding the success of the Manual in meeting your needs and welcome any suggestions for modification.

Basic Utility Needs Simply Unaffordable For Some Families: From the Legal Intelligencer

The ability to connect and maintain utility service is essential for a household’s health, safety and wellbeing. Lack of service results in eviction, loss or denial of public housing, chronic health problems, the risk of removal of one’s children from the home, and a host of other equally horrific outcomes. Low-income individuals are particularly at risk of termination, and often choose between utility service and other critical needs like food, health care, medicine, transportation and child care. Unfortunately, for too many Pennsylvanians, essential utility service—electricity, water and a heating source—are simply unaffordable. Across the state, more than 1 million households have total household income of less than 150 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which for a family of four, is no more than $36,450 per year. These households pay between 9 and 30 percent of their income toward energy costs. By contrast, energy burdens for median to high-income households are between 3 and 5 percent. Continue reading “Basic Utility Needs Simply Unaffordable For Some Families: From the Legal Intelligencer”

PULP Seeking Attorney/Fellow

PULP is seeking an attorney/fellow who desires to make a significant contribution to the well-being of low-income households for a 1-2 year fellowship beginning in July 2017.  Applicants must be licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania or sitting for July 2017 Pennsylvania Bar Exam.    Read the full announcement.