PEORIA (WEEK) -- $327 million in Help Illinois Families assistance is being made available through the Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program and the Community Services Block Grant Program, in an announcement made today in Peoria.
Gov. JB Pritzker made his first stop in Peoria with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and community partners to make the announcement -- expanded services to support the state's most vulnerable residents with rent, utilities, food and other household expenses regardless of immigration status.
Residents will have more access to utility assistance than ever before, according to a release. Illinois is leveraging $209 million from the American Rescue Plan to expand relief for state families struggling to pay their bills as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
LIHEAP funds are available now through May 31, 2022. Those wishing to apply are asked to go to the DCEO’s website or visit helpillinoisfamilies.com.
“Unfortunately, far too many families around the state cannot afford to adequately heat their homes when especially when temperatures start to drop,” said State Representative Jehan Gordan-Booth (D-Peoria). “Residents shouldn’t be forced to choose between heating their homes or paying for their next meal."
To qualify for LIHEAP, households must demonstrate if they meet the expanded income requirements of 200 percent of the poverty level, regardless of immigration status. Recommended documents for application include Social Security Number, or I-TIN, or other identification, and proof of income. Applicants need to supply their utility bill for LIHEAP and lease for rental assistance.
The remote application for LIHEAP and CSBG is available now on helpillinoisfamilies.com. To help eliminate any barriers to the application process, the State also provides a hotline service with multilingual assistance in over 30 languages. Residents may visit their local CAA in-person or call the hotline at 1-833-711-0374.
"Through the Peoria Citizens Committee for Economic Opportunity, Inc., a member of the National Community Action Partnership, we are promoting transformational help to individuals, improving their quality of life by offering support services in times needed most,” said McFarland A. Bragg II, President and CEO of PCCEO. “Programs like LIHEAP and CSBG provide residents with a rapid response and access to assistance for items like utility bills, rent and food, especially when we move into the colder months ahead.”