If you are struggling to afford housing costs or expenses, you may be the perfect candidate to qualify for government housing assistance that can help cover up to 70% of your monthly rent and utility payments. The most common, accessible types of rental assistance are federally funded. However, federal subsidies are not the only types of rental and utilities assistance.
You can also find nonprofit organizations that provide grants to help pay your rent, heating, and cooling bills. Find out more about the rental, utilities, and housing assistance programs that may be available to you.
If you are unable to pay your utility bills, you may qualify for the federal government program called Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides assistance to qualifying households by helping them pay their heating and cooling bills.
To qualify for LIHEAP, you must need help paying for your energy costs and belong to a low-income household as is determined by each specific state and territory. Every state has individually specified levels of income that, if you are in that specific income bracket, would qualify you as a low-income household. You can contact your local LIHEAP office to find out whether you qualify in your state or territory.
You may also automatically qualify for LIHEAP benefits if you or your family are already enrolled in other government-funded benefit programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (TANF), or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or specific Veterans benefits.
The federal government disburses a certain amount of money to each state government to fund LIHEAP. These funds can run out quickly, so your chances of being accepted into LIHEAP and receive LIHEAP benefit payments are greater the sooner that you apply.
This is how LIHEAP works: The program does not provide individuals or households with direct payments. Instead, it pays your energy providers on your behalf. So, you would only have to pay your energy provider the remainder of the bill.
Aside from heating and cooling, LIHEAP may provide additional energy assistance. In certain states, LIHEAP can also help pay for:
- Energy Crisis Assistance: This refers to emergency situations, such as a utility shutoff.
- Weatherization: This refers to home improvements that help make your house more energy efficient to help save money on utilities.
- Furnace & Air Condition Repair.
Now that you know how to find help paying your utilities, learn about whether you can receive housing vouchers to cover most of your monthly rent bills.