The Department of Commerce has announced that it is providing $9 million in rent and energy assistance to serve roughly 5,000 low-income households.

For households that qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), the Department of Commerce is providing up to $1,000 in rental assistance and up to $500 in energy assistance.

Community action agencies will distribute the money on a first-come, first-served basis, as long as the Governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is in place. Of the $9 million available, 15 percent is available for rental assistance. Tenants who are behind in their rent and meet the other qualifications for crisis benefits must apply to their local community action agency. If approved, the rental assistance payment will be made directly to the landlord.

Similarly, those unable to pay their energy bills must apply through their local community action agency. When approved, the benefit is paid to the utility that serves the qualifying household.

Residents who are interested in getting more information should contact their local community action agency. Click here for an interactive map with contact information.

Thumbnail photo by Damir Spanic via Unsplash