NEW BRITAIN – The New Britain Housing Services Agency of New Britain together with Governor Ned Lamont announced Thursday that there was funding available to residents who need assistance to pay for utilities. Lamont, leaders of Community Action Agencies, and other state officials encouraged residents to apply to programs to help offset winter heating costs.
The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Block Grant. Lower income households, or residents whose income falls at or below 60 percent of the state median income, can apply to receive assistance. Lamont assured that enough resources are available for residents who might need assistance and there should be no reason that heating would be turned off due to lack of payment.
“Don’t let this weather fool you. You’re going to be in need soon, it's going to get cold,” Lamont said. “The state of Connecticut is ready to help you in any way we can.”
Connecticut Commissioner of the Department of Social Services Dr. Deidre Gifford said that around 33 thousand households have received assistance through the program so far. Gifford said the hope is to connect families in need with program funding and provide assistance to more than 100 thousand households. The program is available for individuals, families, renters and homeowners.
“Between our departments there really are a lot of options for Connecticut residents who will be facing really a cold winter,” Gifford said.
Gifford, a Senior Advisor to the Governor for Health and Human Services, said the state has 135 million from federal funding to assist with energy needs. Households that make $75,000 or less for a family of four and individuals who make $40,000 or less annually may be eligible for the program. Residents may also be eligible for an additional $700 per household to assist with utilities. Residents who want to apply can go to www.ct.gov/staywarm or call 211 for more information..
“Last year with this program we served about 75,000 households, which is terrific but as I’ve said, we have room for more,” Gifford. “So, I don’t want people to be hesitant or shy about reaching out to find out if they might be eligible.”
Executive Director of Human Resources Agency of New Britain Dr. Marlo Greonne said heating costs, especially during the winter can be a challenge to any household regardless of income. Greonne said if a resident believes that they might be in need of assistance, that they seek out one of the nine Community Action Agencies in the state.
“There will be an opportunity for you to receive a resource. In addition, because we do provide support services that are wrap-around, there will be other ways that we could support households through these difficult times,” Greonne said.