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HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

DIVISION 200

LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGYASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP)

813-200-0000 [Renumbered to 813-200-0005]

813-200-0001

Purpose and Objectives

OAR chapter 813, division 200, is promulgated to accomplish the general purposes of ORS 458.505 to 458.545, and particularly 458.505 to 458.515, which designates the Housing and Community Services Department as the state agency responsible for administering state and federal antipoverty programs in Oregon. The department has been designated as the state agency responsible for implementing the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act in Oregon. OAR chapter 813, division 200, describes the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which operates through a network of subgrantee agencies at the local level. The objective of the program is to assist low-income households with their energy needs through a variety of means, including assistance payments, client education and weatherization activities.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0005

Definitions

All terms used in OAR chapter 813, division 200, are defined in the Act, in 813-005-0005 and below. As used in OAR 813, division 200, unless otherwise indicated by the context:

(1) “Administrative costs” means all program costs that are not directly related to the delivery of program services.

(2) "Crisis assistance" means the assistance provided to help low-income households to meet energy crisis situations such as supply shortages, loss of household heat, minor fuel source repairs, furnace repairs and other situations approved by the department as described in the LIHEAP state plan and in the manual.

(3) “Department” means the Housing and Community Services Department for the state of Oregon.

(4) "Eligible services" or “program services” means the services described in OAR 813-200-0030 or allowed thereunder.

(5) "Energy assistance payment" means a payment made under this program to or on behalf of an eligible household.

(6) “Funding agreement” means that master grant agreement or other written agreement, together with all incorporated documents and references, to be executed by and between the department and subgrantee agencies in form and substance satisfactory to the department as a condition precedent for receipt of program funding from the department.

(7) "Funding application" means a subgrantee agency's application to the department for program funds.

(8) ”OPUS” means the energy assistance database.

(9) "Home energy" means the type of energy or fuel, including but not limited to fuel oil, natural gas, electricity, wood or propane, supplying the major portion of the household's heat.

(10) "Home energy supplier" means a supplier who either delivers home energy in bulk to households, or provides home energy continuously via wire or pipe.

(11) "Household" means any individual living alone, a family with or without children, or group of individuals who are living together as one economic unit and purchase residential energy in common.

(12) "Household income" means the total household receipts before taxes from all sources. Income may be reduced by deductions allowed by the department. Income does not include assets or funds over which the members of the household have no control.

(13) "Incidental fees" means charges imposed by the home energy suppliers other than the actual cost of energy or fuel and includes reconnection charges and deposits.

(14) "Indirect heaters" means renters whose heating costs are included as an undifferentiated part of their rent payments.

(15) "Low-income household" means a household with a gross annual income as specified in the manual.

(16) "LIHEAP" or "program" means the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program administered by the department in accordance with, inter alia, this division.

(17) “LIHEAP manual,” “program manual” or “manual” means the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program Manual incorporated herein by this reference.

(18) “Poverty line" means the applicable poverty line standard as established by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

(19) “Program requirements” means all funding agreement terms and conditions, department directives (including deficiency notices), and applicable state, local, and federal laws and regulations (including these rules, other applicable department rules, the LIHEAP state plan, and the manual), executive orders, local ordinances and codes.

(20) “Program services” means any or all program services, assistance, or other activities.

(21) "Service area" means the specific geographic area or region within which a subgrantee agency provides program services directly or by contract.

(22) "Subgrantee agency" or “agency” means a private, nonprofit corporation organized under ORS chapter 65, a housing authority established under ORS 456.055 to 456.235, or a local government as defined in 197.015 with whom the department has contracted to administer the program at the local level.

(23) "Work plan" or "plan" means the subgrantee agency's plan for the use of program funds as approved by the department, which is part of its funding application and is included in its funding agreement with the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0000; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; Renumbered from 813-200-0000; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0007

Subgrantee Agency Program Application; Contracting

(1) The department may contract with subgrantee agencies to provide program services at the local level.

(2) The department normally will fund only one subgrantee agency within any service area. However, the department may, in its sole discretion, allow two or more subgrantee agencies to operate within a common service area. In such cases the subgrantee agencies shall enter into a written agreement with the department, satisfactory to the department in its sole discretion, in order, inter alia, to insure full access to program services for all eligible households within the service area to the extent of available funding and to prevent duplication of services.

(3)(a) In order to be eligible to administer the program at the local level, subgrantee agencies normally must submit, on a biennial basis, a funding application (including a work plan,) which the department must approve before it is operative.

(b) Funding applications must meet all requirements established by the department, to the department’s satisfaction, for the form and content of the application, including the work plan (which the department may modify or decline).

(c) Funding applications will be evaluated by the department for sufficiency with respect to application and other program requirements.

(d) In cases where a community action agency has the conditional right of first refusal for antipoverty program administration, and the community action agency cannot meet the sufficiency requirements for the form and content of the funding application as determined by the department in its sole discretion, the department may allow other eligible organizations to submit a funding application with respect to that service area.

(4) Subgrantee agencies must execute a funding agreement with the department, satisfactory to the department in its sole discretion, in order to receive program funding and administer the program within its service area.

(5) If a subgrantee agency subcontracts with other organizations for the delivery of program services within its service area, it must require and provide by contract that such other organizations shall adhere to and be subject to the terms and conditions of the subgrantee agency’s funding agreement with the department and other program requirements, including but not limited to records retention and reporting, department monitoring, and department remedial action.

(6) The department may otherwise initiate a program funding award with a subgrantee agency.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0010

Administration

(1)(a) Subgrantee agencies shall comply with the terms of the funding agreement and all other program requirements, including but not limited to department directives (including deficiency notices), applicable local, state and federal laws, rules (including the LIHEAP State Plan and manual), regulations, executive orders, local ordinances and codes.

(b) Subgrantee agencies shall familiarize themselves with and adhere to procedures outlined in the LIHEAP manual. These procedures, inter alia, describe the methods for accurate completion of intake documentation and entry of the resultant data into OPUS or other department-approved data system, for authorizing program payments, for paying home energy suppliers and clients, for making and reporting program funding request draws, and for end-of-year and other program reporting to the department.

(c) Subgrantee agencies shall attend and participate in program training made available or conducted by the department.

(2) Subgrantee agencies shall take applications for program services from households, verify household eligibility and contract with and monitor local home energy suppliers to determine that household clients are both eligible and receiving appropriate program services — all in a manner consistent with program requirements and satisfactory to the department.

(3) Subgrantee agencies shall make good faith attempts satisfactory to the department to recover any overpayment of program funds made to a household client, home energy supplier, or otherwise.

(4)(a) Subgrantee agencies may expend up to an amount authorized by the department in writing for reimbursement of reasonable and appropriate administrative costs.

(b) If a subgrantee agency subcontracts with other organizations to provide program services, that organization may expend up to an amount for administrative costs that does not exceed its proportionate share of the amount authorized by the department for reasonable and appropriate administrative costs of the funding award.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HR 4-1983, f. & ef. 11-25-83; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0005; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0017

Recordkeeping and Reporting

(1) Subgrantee agencies shall maintain accurate financial records satisfactory to the department, which document, inter alia, the receipt and disbursement of all funds provided through the program by the department, and have an accounting system in place satisfactory to the department, which meets, inter alia, generally accepted accounting principles.

(2) Subgrantee agencies also shall maintain other program records satisfactory to the department, which document, inter alia, client eligibility, receipt of allowable program services, termination of services and the bases for same, housing status of clients, administrative actions, contracts with subcontractors, review of subcontractor performance, action taken with respect to deficiency notices, and any review proceedings. Such records shall be in substance and format satisfactory to the department.

(3) Subgrantee agencies also shall provide the department with reports, data, and financial statements, in form and substance satisfactory to the department, as may be required under the manual or requested by the department.

(4)(a) Subgrantee agencies shall make all program records available to the department, the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, the federal government (if applicable), and their duly authorized representatives for inspection and copying.

(b) Subgrantee agencies and their contractors shall cooperate fully in any inspections or other monitoring actions taken by the department, the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, the federal government (if applicable), and their duly authorized representatives.

(c) Subgrantee agencies shall retain and keep accessible all such program records for a minimum of 5 years, or such longer period as may be required by applicable law, following final payment and termination of program involvement, or until the conclusion of any audit, controversy or litigation arising out of or related to the program, whichever date is later.

(5) Subgrantee agencies shall timely and accurately collect and report eligible household data to the department through the use of OPUS. Such data collection and reporting shall be satisfactory to the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0019

Compliance Monitoring; Remedies

(1) The department may conduct reviews, audits, and other compliance monitoring as it deems appropriate with respect to each subgrantee agency and its subcontractors, inter alia, to assure compliance with program requirements. Subgrantee agencies and their subcontractors shall cooperate fully with the department in its compliance monitoring.

(2)(a) The department may take such remedial action as it deems appropriate including, but not limited to terminating its funding agreement with a subgrantee agency and requiring repayment of all program funding, if it determines (in its sole discretion) that the performance of the subgrantee agency or any of its subcontractors is deficient in any manner, including with respect to program requirements.

(b) The department may, but is not required to issue deficiency notices and require the subgrantee agency to correct such deficiencies in a manner satisfactory to the department within a period of time designated by the department. If any such deficiency notices are issued, the subgrantee shall fully correct such deficiencies to the department’s satisfaction within the time specified.

(c) Issuance of a deficiency notice shall not constitute a waiver of other remedies available to the department or preclude the department from exercising such other remedies available to it under the funding agreement or other program requirements, at law or otherwise.

(3) The department may take such remedial action and exercise such other remedies as may be available to it under program requires, law or otherwise with respect to program applicants and participants as it determines to be appropriate.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0020

Client Eligibility

To be eligible to receive program services, a household must satisfy applicable program requirements, including income and need standards as provided herein and more fully set forth in the manual.

(1) These requirements include, but are not limited to:

(a) Meeting income guidelines for the program, as described in the manual; and

(b) Having a demonstrated utility cost, as defined in the manual.

(2) The period of time relevant to the determination of a household's eligibility is not more than the past 12 months and not less than the 30 days immediately preceding the date of application by the household for program services, unless the department gives its prior approval to a modification of such time period.

(3) An eligible household may normally only apply for assistance from the subgrantee agency in the service area in which the household resides.

(4) Households in similar circumstances shall receive similar benefits to the extent of program funding.

(5) Both renters and homeowners may be eligible under the program.

(6) An applicant living in an institution is not eligible for program services. Institutions include hospitals, licensed domiciliary care facilities, intermediate care facilities, skilled nursing facilities or homes, alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers or treatment programs, dormitories, fraternities, sororities, temporary protective facilities such as domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters.

(7) Residents of governmental subsidized housing may:

(a) Be eligible for up to 50 percent of a regularly available energy assistance payment, depending on household size and household income, and

(b) Be eligible for a crisis payment under crisis assistance guidelines in the LIHEAP state plan or manual.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HR 4-1983, f. & ef. 11-25-83; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0010; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0030

Eligible Services

One or more of the following services may be provided to an eligible household, subject to compliance with manual and other program requirements:

(1) Heating assistance, including:

(a) A payment to a home energy supplier for the costs of home energy. A payment may also be made for supplier charges other than those that apply to the actual cost of energy or fuel, and may include reconnection charges and deposits as well as charges incurred by a household for eligible services delivered before or after the household is determined to be eligible for program services. Payments may not be used to cover on-bill loan financing without prior approval from the department; and

(b) The following direct payments to an eligible household:

(A) Payments to an indirect heater equal to energy assistance payments made to or on behalf of homeowners in similar circumstances;

(B) Payments to a household if the household's home energy supplier has not signed a contract with the subgrantee agency in the service area; and;

(C) Reimbursement of prepayment for home energy costs as in the case of bulk oil or wood deliveries, up to the amount for which the household is eligible. A household must provide applicable receipts prior to reimbursement.

(2) Weatherization assistance, including as outlined in the LIHEAP State Plan.

(3) Crisis Assistance. In order to qualify for crisis assistance under the program, a household shall:

(a) Have been evaluated for, and received, an energy assistance payment (regular or subsidized in the same program year) other than for crisis assistance; and;

(b) Meet the guidelines for crisis assistance outlined in the LIHEAP state plan and in the manual.

(4) Client Education. All eligible households shall be offered information designed to help reduce energy consumption.

(5) Leveraging Incentive Fund Assistance. Leveraging incentive funds must be used as outlined in the state plan.

(6) A subgrantee agency shall assist applicants in determining program services most appropriate for the household.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HR 4-1983, f. & ef. 11-25-83; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0015; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0040

Assistance Levels

Energy assistance payments made under this program shall not exceed the amount of funds made available to the department under the Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1981, Public Law 97-35, sections 2601-11, as amended.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0020; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0050

Coordination with Home Energy Suppliers

(1) Subgrantee agencies must execute a contract with a home energy supplier in order for the home energy supplier to receive an energy assistance payment under the program.

(2) Subgrantee agencies must use a contract template provided or approved by the department in fulfillment of its obligations under subsection (1) hereof.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0025; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0055

Review of Subgrantee Action

(1) Subgrantee agencies shall provide a review process for aggrieved persons as outlined in the LIHEAP manual.

(2) The subgrantee agency must inform the department in writing of any request by an aggrieved party for review of subgrantee agency action within ten (10) days of such request.

(3) The subgrantee agency must inform the department and the aggrieved party in writing of any final review determination made by the subgrantee agency, and the basis for same, within ten (10) days of such final determination.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-200-0060

Administrative Review

A Subgrantee Agency shall provide an administrative review process, which shall include an administrative hearing, to individuals whose claims for assistance under the Program are denied or deemed denied because of the failure of the Subgrantee Agency to process a request for assistance.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 458.505 - 458.545
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505 - 458.545
Hist.: HR 1-1982, f. & ef. 1-11-82; HSG 8-1992, f. & cert. ef. 7-29-92; Renumbered from 410-050-0030; HSG 2-1993, f. & cert. ef. 4-2-93; OHCS 15-2002(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-20-02 thru 5-17-03; OHCS 5-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; [Suspended by OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14]

813-200-0070

Department Review

(1) Persons aggrieved by an action of a subgrantee agency with respect to its program obligations may submit a written request to the department for its review of such contested action, but only after first exhausting the applicable review process furnished by the relevant subgrantee agency and within thirty (30) days of that agency review determination.

(2) The department may accept or deny a request for its review in whole or in part, at its sole discretion. Any department review will be in the manner determined appropriate by the department and may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to review of provided information.

(3) If the department accepts the review request, the requester of the review, the subgrantee agency, and relevant contractors shall produce all information required by the department, including requested affidavits or testimony.

(4) The department may make a determination on a review request and require such remedial action as the department determines, in its sole discretion, to be appropriate.

(5) Department review shall not take the form of a contested case review under ORS Chapter 183 unless specifically so stated by the director in writing.

(6) Timely request for department review by an aggrieved person or entity, and its completion to final order by the department, are requirements for exhaustion of administrative remedies by such aggrieved person or entity.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 5-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 19-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

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