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Posted on: August 22, 2022

Township reminds residents of NJ Dept of Community Affairs’ existing programs for utility assistance

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BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Residential homeowners with water arrearages between March 9, 2020 to March 15, 2022 are eligible to enroll in an installment plan to bring their charges current. In order to enter into an installment plan a response to the Township is required by September 1, 2022. For residents seeking further assistance with utility payments, there are several assistance programs, outlined below, courtesy of the NJ Division of Housing and Community Resources. 

“We want to make sure Bloomfield residents know about all of the options available to them to assist with utility payments. The last few years have not been easy and we know that costs have been rising so we want to help where we can,” said Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia. “We want residents to know they have options and should take advantage of our payment plan offering or one of the NJ Division of Housing and Community Resources’ Utility Assistance Programs.”   

The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) is funded by the Federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the American Rescue Plan.  An LIHWAP arrearage grant will assist citizens who have fallen behind on their utility (water and sewer) payments.

The American Rescue Plan Utility Debt Relief (ARP) Arrearage Forgiveness Program is offered to help low income households that are not currently enrolled in an energy assistance program, such as LIHEAP or USF. If you have already applied for LIHEAP and/or USF, you are not eligible for this program; however if you received a notice to apply, please do so. An ARP grant may assist households that have fallen behind on their utility (gas and electric) payments, and the program is funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the American Rescue Plan Utility Debt Relief.

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps very low-income residents with their heating and cooling bills, and makes provisions for emergency heating system services and emergency fuel assistance within the Home Energy Assistance Program.

The Universal Service Fund (USF) provides a monthly credit on gas and electric bills for income eligible customers (up to $106,000 for a family of four). USF also offers energy debt forgiveness through the USF-Fresh Start program. As long as the household pays their current monthly charges in full for one year, old overdue balances are forgiven through Fresh Start.

The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) assists elderly, handicapped, and low-income persons in weatherizing their homes, improving their heating system efficiency, and conserving energy.

For more information on Department of Community Affairs Utility Assistance Programs and to find out what assistance you might qualify for, please visit: https://dcaid.dca.nj.gov/en-US/dcaid-services/

For more information on Bloomfield Township water utility repayment plans, please contact the tax and water department by phone at 973-680-4051 or by email at taxcollector@bloomfieldtwpnj.com

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