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Posted on: November 18, 2021

Press Release: LEAP Applications Open

MEDIA RELEASE

November 17, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Colorado Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) offers services to Ouray County residents.

Ouray County, Colo. – Ouray County Human Services is now accepting Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) applications now through April 30, 2022. (LEAP) is a federally funded program that helps eligible hard-working Colorado families, seniors and individuals, pay a portion of their winter home heating costs. Their goal is to help bring warmth, comfort and safety to homes and families by assisting with heating costs.

The LEAP program works to keep our communities warm during the winter (November through April) by providing assistance with heating costs, equipment repair and/or replacement of inoperable heating tools. While the program is not intended to pay the entire cost of home heating, we aim to help alleviate some of the burdens that come with Colorado's colder months.

In most cases, the energy assistance benefit is paid directly to the household energy supplier. In most cases, if you are approved for LEAP, payments are made directly to your primary heating fuel vendor and a notice will be sent to you informing you of the benefit amount. Other benefits provided by LEAP include repair or replacement of a home’s primary heating system, such as a furnace or wood-burning stove. The program does not provide financial assistance for any type of temporary or portable heating.

The program counts your gross monthly income. Household gross income may not exceed 65 percent of the State Median Income--the maximum gross monthly income for a one person household for the 2021-2022 LEAP season is $2759.00

In addition to LEAP benefits, Ouray County residents are currently eligible for two temporary programs that are part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP). The Utility Assistance Program provides funds to assist with paying down past-due accounts for a home's primary heating source and supportive fuel while funding is available. The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) serves eligible Colorado households who pay a water vendor directly and whose account is either in arrears or shut off. LIHWAP provides funds to make a one-time payment to the water vendor directly on behalf of eligible households if funding is available. To qualify for this assistance, the household must meet these criteria: - Be approved for LEAP during November 1, 2021 - April 30, 2022 - Complete the addendum within the LEAP application and submit a copy of your water bill.

- Must pay drinking water services and/or waste/sewer services directly to a water vendor. - Services must be in disconnected, facing disconnection, or have a past due amount on the bill. For households whose water services are included in their rent, have group metering, or pay through their property management/landlord, please refer to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) https://cdola.colorado.gov/rental-mortgage-assistance

If you are interested in receiving LEAP benefits, you must fill out a LEAP application. Applications may be obtained online at https://cdhs.colorado.gov/leap or through the local LEAP office at the Ouray County Human Services office, located in Ridgway at 177 Sherman St. Suite 104. Applicants are required to submit a copy of their most recent heating bill or rent receipt (if heat is included in rent) and proof of income, along with a valid Colorado ID or driver’s license. For more information regarding LEAP, you may call human services at 970-626-2299, visit the LEAP website, stop in to human services offices or call 1-866-HEAT-HELP (1-866-432-8435).

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