According to the latest results of a study from the Energy Information Administration, nearly one-third of households in the United States struggle to pay energy bills. One in five homes had to reduce or forgo food, medicine, and other necessities.
To support the heating and energy cooling cost of senior residents, the resident services department partners annually with District of Columbia’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) to assists income-eligible seniors through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This federally funded program provides a minimum credit of $250 towards energy cost for not only seniors, but all income eligible District households.
This partnership has allowed the resident services department to host on-site registration events across the DC portfolio by offering support with the LIHEAP enrollment process. Hosting LIHEAP registration events at our properties enables seniors to complete a process they may otherwise may not be able to complete due to lack of knowledge of program, restrictions in their health, or transportation cost to DOEE’s center. Sharon Cooke, a supervisor at the Energy Assistance Center who supports the 40-year initiative, says that “Everyone deserves the right to live comfortably without the continuous fear of vital services being disconnected simply because they cannot afford the bill”.
We surveyed our senior residents in efforts to gain insight on how beneficial the LIHEAP registration events were. Data collected shows that our goal of helping seniors access resources in a more convenient way was accomplished.
Here are some highlights from the 2019 LIHEAP registration event:
•170 senior residents registered on-site across the DC portfolio; The largest number of seniors registered onsite in Washington, DC
•99% of senior residents reported that coming to a LIHEAP registration event made it easier for them to get recertified
•99% percent of senior residents reported being very satisfied with the LIHEAP registration event