“The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) has received an additional $614,802 in Weatherization Assistance funding for low-income consumers,” Phyllis Bennett, UCHRA Executive Director, announced.
The Tennessee Department of Human Services has informed UCHRA that funding for its Weatherization Assistance Program has been increased to $1,012,288, an increase of $614,802 above its original allocation for the year that ends June 30, 2009. “The increase in LIHEAP funds will allow UCHRA to weatherize approximately 260 homes in the 14-county area,” explained Bennett.
In DeKalb County, approximately 15 homes (an increase of 9) will be weatherized expending $41,537. Bennett encouraged individuals who meet program guidelines to apply for WAP assistance this year, even if they have not previously been served. The increased funding is the result of actions taken by Congress to assist low-income families during the current economic crisis. UCHRA Board Chairman Mike Foster, County Executive of DeKalb County, said “the UCHRA Board is pleased with this new allocation to serve additional low income households during these difficult times.”
The Weatherization Assistance Program provides basic insulation and weatherization measures to homeowners and renters to assist them in reducing energy costs while safeguarding their health and safety. Licensed contactors perform the work. To qualify for assistance a household’s income must not exceed 125% of the US poverty level. For example, a family of four can earn a monthly household income of up to $2,208.33.
Priority for service is based upon a point system. Points are awarded based upon each household’s percent of Federal Poverty Guidelines (125% maximum). “Households with vulnerable household members receive additional points for such criteria as having an elderly member (60+), a disabled member, children less than 6 years of age, a member referred by Adult Protective Services, six or more household members, and having been on the waiting list for more than one year. First priority for service is given to households with the highest total points, and UCHRA works down the priority list until all available funds are spent in the county,” Lee Webb, UCHRA Community Services Director, stated.
“Upper Cumberland families in need have been on the increase. This increase in funds represents a successful effort on the part of the UCHRA Board and staff to provide more LIHEAP program funds for qualifying families. This infusion of additional funds has come at the best possible time,” remarked Brock Hill, Cumberland County Mayor and UCHRA Finance Committee Chairman.
All UCHRA county offices are accepting WAP applications between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. DeKalb County UCHRA is located at 527 West Main Street, and the telephone number is (615) 597-4504.