Assemblymen Herb Conaway, Jr, M.D. and Troy Singleton (both D-Burlington) on Friday announced that the State of New Jersey has awarded a $194,404 grant to assist low-income residents in Burlington County who are struggling to pay their utility bills.
“This grant is a welcome relief, particularly in this economy,” said Conaway. “With the ever-increasing price of gas and electricity, many families struggle from month-to-month, juggling their finances, while worrying if their heat or electricity will be turned off.”
“For families having difficulty making ends meet, they may have to choose between putting food on the table or paying a utility bill,” said Singleton. “That’s a choice no one should have to contend with. These funds will go a long way towards easing that burden.”
The lawmakers announced that the grant, which comes from the Department of Community Affairs’ Universal Service Fund Program, was awarded to the Burlington County Community Action Program (BCCAP) to ensure that eligible Burlington County utility customers pay no more than an affordable portion of their household income for energy costs.
The USF is a program created by the State of New Jersey to help make natural gas and electric bills more affordable for low-income households. Eligible households must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the Federal Poverty Level and pay more than three percent of their annual income for electric, or more than three percent for natural gas. If a household has electric heat, it must spend more than six percent of its annual income on electricity to be eligible.
For more information, interested applicants should visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/usf.html.
BCCAP is a private, non-profit social service agency established in 1965 to serve the low-income population of Burlington County by combating the causes and reducing the effects of poverty.