Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (Liheap)


Published: 2015

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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through November 15, 2015

 

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HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

DIVISION 200
LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
(LIHEAP)

813-200-0001
Purpose and Objectives
OAR chapter 813, division 200, is promulgated
to accomplish the general purpose of ORS 458.505 to 458.545, specifically ORS 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; Administrative correction,
5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015, f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15
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 chapter 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) “Assistant director”
means the department’s assistant director for the housing stabilization programs.
(3) “Community action
agency” or “CAA” means a private, nonprofit corporation organized
under ORS chapter 65, or an office, division or agency of a political subdivision
designated as a community action agency pursuant to the Economic Opportunity Act
of 1964 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which meets the requirements
outlined in ORS 458.505(4).
(4) “Conditional”
means subject to relevant conditions subsequent, including but not limited to, continued
department authority and funding capacity as well as the subgrantee agency, to the
satisfaction of the department, satisfying the terms of the funding application,
maintaining legal standing as a CAA, timely satisfying relevant program requirements,
and executing and recording (if required) relevant documents.
(5) "Crisis assistance" means
the assistance provided to help low-income households into meeting 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.
(6) “Department”
means the Housing and Community Services Department for the state of Oregon.
(7) “Director”
means the department director as appointed by the governor.
(8) "Eligible services" or
“program services” means the services described in OAR 813-200-0030
or allowed thereunder.
(9) "Energy assistance payment"
means a payment made under this program to or on behalf of an eligible household.
(10) “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 agency in form and substance satisfactory to the department as a
condition precedent for receipt of program funding from the department.
(11) "Funding application"
means a subgrantee agency's application to the department for program funds.
(12) “Heat included
in rent” means renters whose heating costs are included as an undifferentiated
part of their rent payments.
(13) “HHS” means
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
(14) "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.
(15) "Home energy supplier"
means a supplier who either delivers home energy in bulk to households, or provides
home energy continuously via wire or pipe.
(16) "Household" means any
individual residing alone, a family with or without children or a group of individuals
who are living together as one economic unit and purchase residential energy in
common.
(17) "Household income" means
the total household income 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.
(18) "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.
(19) "Low-income household"
means a household with a gross annual income as specified in the manual.
(20) OPUS” means the
energy assistance database.
(21) “Poverty guidelines”
or “poverty line” means the simplified version of the federal (U.S.
Census Bureau) poverty thresholds released annually by HHS to determine financial
eligibility for the program.
(22) “Program”
or “LIHEAP” means the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program administered
by the department pursuant to this division and other applicable law.
(23) “Program manual”
or “manual” means the LIHEAP & OEAP Operations Manual, as amended
from time to time, incorporated herein by this reference. The manual may be accessed
online on the department’s website.
(24) “Program requirements”
means all funding agreement terms and conditions (including work plan objectives),
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.
(25) “Program services”
means allowable services, assistance and activities as defined in the manual and
eligible for funding under this program.
(26) "Service area" means
the specific geographic area or region within which a subgrantee agency provides
program services directly or by contract.
(27) “Subcontractor”
or “subrecipient” means a nonprofit corporation established under ORS
chapter 65, a housing authority established under ORS 456.055 to 456.235, or local
government as defined in ORS 197.015, contracting with a subgrantee agency to provide
program services.
(28) "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 ORS 197.015 with whom the department has contracted to
administer program activities and services at the local level.
(29) “Sufficiency”
means that the quantity, thoroughness and quality of performance is satisfactory
to the department, including but not limited to providing relevant information in
a manner and to a degree for the department to assess appropriately subgrantee agency’s
compliance with relevant program requirements such as the provision of services
consistent with the terms of the funding agreement, state plan and other appropriate
standards, goals and requirements established by the department.
(30) "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; Administrative correction,
5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015, f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0010
Administration
(1) The department may contract with
subgrantee agencies to provide program services and activities at the local level.
In a service area where a community action agency exists, the community action agency
has the conditional right of first refusal to serve as the subgrantee agency for
the service area.
(2) The department normally
will allocate program funds to subgrantee agencies for the various service areas
through a formula established by the department prior to the allocation process.
However, the department reserves the right to modify such formula at any time in
its sole discretion and in compliance with HHS requirements.
(3) A subgrantee agency may
subcontract with other organizations that meet the requirements of ORS 458.505(4)
to provide program services or activities in the subgrantee agency’s service
area.
(4) A subgrantee agency shall
identify potential applicants, take applications, verify household eligibility and
contract with and monitor local home energy suppliers to determine that the clients
are receiving proper benefits and services. Whenever appropriate, program participants
will be assisted in accessing other services designed to meet longer-term needs.
(5) Subgrantee agency representatives
will attend and participate in program training made available or conducted by the
department.
(6) 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 ensure 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.
(7)(a) A subgrantee agency
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 another organization to provide program services that organization
may expend up to an amount for administrative costs that does not exceed the subgrantee
agency’s proportionate share of the amount authorized by the department for
reasonable and appropriate administrative costs of the funding award.
(c) The ultimate determination
of reasonable and appropriate administrative costs is reserved to the department
in its sole discretion.
(8) A subgrantee agency and
its subcontractors 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 (program manual) regulations, executive orders, local ordinances and codes.
(9) Subgrantee agencies shall
make good faith attempts satisfactory to the department to recover any overpayment
of program funds made to a household client or home energy supplier, or otherwise.
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; Administrative correction,
5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015, f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0020
Client Eligibility
(1) Program services will be available
to households that are determined eligible by the subgrantee agency in compliance
with program requirements, including the program manual. 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 no 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 prior approval
to a modification of the required 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, and temporary protective facilities such
as domestic violence shelters and homeless shelters.
(7) Residents of governmental
subsidized housing may be eligible for:
(a) A regularly available
energy assistance payment, depending on household size and household income, as
defined in the program manual.
(b) A crisis payment under
crisis assistance guidelines contained in the LIHEAP state plan or program 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; Administrative correction,
5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015, f. cert. ef. 8-25-15; OHCS 12-2015, f. & cert.
ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0030
Use of Funds
Program funds will be used for allowable
program services and activities for eligible households in compliance with program
requirements. Allowable services include:
(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) Direct payments to an
eligible household including payments to eligible renters whose heat is included
in rent or who pay heating costs directly to their landlord, to a household if the
household's home energy supplier has not signed a contract with the subgrantee agency
in the service area, and for reimbursement or prepayment for home energy costs as
in the case of bulk oil or wood deliveries, as outlined in the manual.
(2) Weatherization assistance
as defined in the LIHEAP state plan and manual.
(3) Crisis assistance as
defined in the LIHEAP state plan and manual.
(4) Client education as defined
in the LIHEAP state plan and manual.
(5) Leveraging incentive
fund assistance as defined in the LIHEAP state plan and manual to the extent of
available funding.
(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; Administrative correction,
5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015, f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15
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 obligation 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; Administrative correction, 5-2-14; OHCS 12-2015,
f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0052
Funding Application
(1) Prior to providing any program services,
a subgrantee agency shall submit on a biennial basis, a funding application satisfactory
to the department, including a work plan, which must be approved by the department
before being operative. The subgrantee agency shall adhere to the department's
requirements and deadlines for obtaining approval of this funding application. A
funding application is subject to approval, including as modified by the department,
or disapproval by the department.
(2) A subgrantee agency's
funding application shall include details satisfactory to the department on how
the subgrantee agency provided a meaningful opportunity for participation in the
development of the work plan by local service providers, advocates, clients, businesses,
churches, citizens, governments and other interested stakeholders.
(3) A subgrantee agency’s
funding application must meet all requirements established by the department for
the form and content of the funding application. 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 requirements for the form and content
of the funding application, the department, in its sole discretion, may allow other
eligible organizations to submit a funding application with respect to that service
area.
(4) Funding applications
will be evaluated by the department for sufficiency with respect to application
and other program requirements.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505,
458.620 & 458.650
Hist. : OHCS 12-2015, f.
& cert. ef. 8-25-15
[813-200-0060 Renumberd to 813-200-0090]
813-200-0075
Reporting and Recordkeeping
(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 basis for same, housing status of clients, administrative actions,
contracts with subcontractors, review of subcontractor performance, action taken
with respect to deficiency notices, and any administrative review proceedings. Such
records shall be in substance and format satisfactory to the department.
(3) Subgrantee agencies shall
provide the department with reports, data, and financial statements, in form and
substance satisfactory to the department, as may be identified and required in the
manual and requested by the department.
(4)(a) Subgrantee agencies
and their subcontractors shall furnish representatives of the department, the Oregon
Secretary of State's Office, the federal government, and their duly authorized representatives
access to and permit copying of all books, accounts, documents, records and allow
reasonable access to the project and other property pertaining to the program, at
any such representative’s request.
(b) Subgrantee agencies and
their subcontractors shall cooperate fully in any inspections or other monitoring
actions taken by the department, the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, the federal
government, and their duly authorized representatives.
(c) Subgrantee agencies and
their subcontractors shall retain and keep accessible all program records for a
minimum of five years, or such longer period as may be required by applicable law
and state records retention requirements, 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
ensure that data is reported, collected and organized accurately, timely, and otherwise
in a manner satisfactory to the department through the use of OPUS.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505,
458.620 & 458.650
Hist. : OHCS 12-2015, f.
& cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0080
Compliance Monitoring; Remedies
(1) The department will conduct reviews,
audits, and other compliance monitoring as it deems appropriate with respect to
each subgrantee agency and its subcontractors, inter alia, to verify compliance
with program requirements. Subgrantee agencies and their subcontractors will cooperate
fully with the department in its compliance monitoring.
(2) Subgrantee agencies shall
require by contract and monitor their subcontractors’ compliance with all
program requirements including but not limited to, recordkeeping and retention of
records and department compliance monitoring and enforcement.
(3)(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 partial or 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 will notify
a subgrantee agency of deficiencies identified through the monitoring process and
provide documentation for the basis of such determination and the specific deficiency
or deficiencies that must be corrected.
(c) The department will require
the subgrantee to correct any deficiencies in a manner and timeframe satisfactory
to the department and may offer training and technical assistance to the subgrantee.
(d) The department, at its
discretion, may offer the subgrantee assistance in the development of a corrective
action plan. If a corrective action plan is allowed, the department will review
and issue a decision on whether to approve or disapprove.
(4) The department will provide
adequate notice and opportunity for an appeal prior to a remedial action that terminates
organizational eligibility for program funding for cause or otherwise reduces a
subgrantee agency’s proportional share of funding.
(5) Appeals will be addressed
to the assistant director whose decision may be further appealed to the department
director.
(6) 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.
Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505,
458.620 & 458.650
Hist. : OHCS 12-2015, f.
& cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0085
Challenge of Subgrantee Action
(1) Local interest groups, service providers
or others aggrieved by 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 administrative review process
furnished by the relevant subgrantee agency and within thirty (30) days of that
administrative review determination or refusal by the subgrantee agency to provide
such administrative 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 will 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
subcontractors will 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 will
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,
458.620 & 458.650
Hist. : OHCS 12-2015, f.
& cert. ef. 8-25-15
813-200-0090
Review By Subgrantee
(1) Subgrantee agencies will establish
in writing a process satisfactory to the department that in a timely manner, enables
beneficiaries of and applicants for program services to contest a determination
by the subgrantee agency or its subcontractors that:
(a) Denies or limits the
eligibility of a beneficiary or applicant for benefits or other assistance; or
(b) Terminates or modifies
benefits or other assistance awarded by the subgrantee agency or subcontractor to
a beneficiary.
(2) Persons aggrieved by
the action of a subgrantee agency or its subcontractors described in subsection
(1) may request administrative review of such action by the subgrantee agency within
the time frame and pursuant to the process established by the subgrantee agency
consistent with program requirements. At all times, the subgrantee agency will allow
a minimum of thirty (30) days within which an aggrieved person may request review
from the time of the contested action or the aggrieved person’s reasonable
discovery of such action, whichever is longer.
(3) The subgrantee agency
will inform the department in writing of any request by an aggrieved party for administrative
review within ten (10) days of such request.
(4) The subgrantee agency
will inform the department and the aggrieved party in writing of any final administrative
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
- 458.620 &458.650
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; Renumbered from 813-200-0060, OHCS 12-2015,
f. & cert. ef. 8-25-15

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