FY 1998 Tribe REACH Awards
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced that grant awards were made to four Indian tribes/tribal organizations under the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program (REACH) for FY 1998.
REACH funds are available only to LIHEAP grantees (states, territories, and Indian tribes/tribal organizations). As allowed by the LIHEAP statute, 25 percent of the funds set aside for the LIHEAP leveraging incentive program in FY 1998 were earmarked for the REACH program. In FY 1998, $25 million were earmarked for leveraging incentive grant awards; of this amount, $6,250,000 were set aside for REACH grants.
HHS received REACH applications from12 Indian tribes/tribal organizations, and 1 territory. Each application was evaluated by a panel of three independent reviewers, who gave each a numerical rating according to criteria included in the program announcement, with a maximum rating of 100 points. The applications were then ranked according to the average of the three reviewers' scores.
Following are a listing of the tribal grantees funded in FY l998 under the REACH program and brief summaries of each project. One tribal grantee qualified to receive an additional $25,000 to operate an energy efficiency education program.
Grantees wishing to receive information as to why their application was not funded in FY 1998 and what strengths and weaknesses were identified by the reviewers, should send a written request to: Ms. Anna Guidery, REACH Program Manager, Division of Community Demonstration Programs, Office of Community Services, ACF, HHS, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20447
Listing of FY 1998 Tribal Grantees
Residential Energy Assistance Challenge Option Program
|Tribal Grantees||Amount Awarded|
|Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes (Alaska)||$ 175,000*|
|United Tribes of Kansas & Southeast Nebraska, Inc. (Kansas)||$ 50,000|
|Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (Michigan)||$ 70,738|
|Lumbee Regional Development Association (North Carolina)||$ 140,711|
|Tribal Total||$ 436,449|
* Includes $25,000 in energy efficiency education funds.
LUMBEE REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
The Lumbee Regional Development Association (LRDA) proposes to assist LIHEAP eligible households in the Enhanced Enterprise Community of Robeson County to make significant improvements in their family stability by reducing their energy burden, decreasing the potential for a utility cut-off, increasing the likelihood of on-time utility payments, and increasing their potential for energy self-sufficiency. The REACH program will target 491 Indian LIHEAP eligible households in the Enhanced Enterprise Community which are at 100% or less of the current Federal poverty guidelines and have 1) either an elderly person (60 years, plus) or a very young child (6 years and under), or a disabled person in the household; and 2) have a high energy burden due to their use of either electricity or LP gas as a heating energy source. Electric heating bills annually average $200 per month and LP Gas charges are in the neighborhood of $130 a month.
Low-income housing in the county generally consists of older wood frame homes, many built before WW II, and prefabricated or mobile homes. Elderly persons or young children are at risk of hypothermia if the heat source fails or is removed. Demand management services offered by local companies are minimal.
The needs of the low-income Indian population in the affected area are clear: the home energy burden must be reduced; the regularity of payment for home heating energy must be improved; the waste of home heating through loss into the environment must be alleviated; and, individual households need education on how to take greater responsibility for their own energy self-sufficiency.
The LRDA REACH project will meet these identified needs through a combined program of low-cost weatherization, increased efficiencies in hot water heaters (including insulation blankets) and low-flow shower-heads, energy efficient lighting, thermostat checks and energy audits.
A partnership will be formed with local utility companies, energy vendors, and community service agencies to provide training in household budgeting (to plan for energy bill payment within overall household spending), weatherization and energy efficiency.
These program activities/interventions will result in a reduction in the home energy burden, an increase in the regularity of payment for home heating energy bills, a reduction in the waste of home heating through cold air infiltration, and greater stability for individual households as they assume a larger responsibility for their own energy self-sufficiency.
TRIBES OF KANSAS AND
SOUTHEAST NEBRASKA, INC. $50,000
United Tribes of Kansas and Southeast Nebraska, Inc., (hereafter referred to as United Tribes) proposes a one year REACH program for low-income Native American LIHEAP recipients within the United Tribes' service area of Brown County, Kansas and Doniphan County, Kansas.
Program assistance will be provided to low-income Native American homeowners with special consideration given to the elderly, the handicapped and homes with children.
The primary focus of the program is to educate and provide repairs to households who are eligible for the LIHEAP program. Assistance will include, but is not limited to, the following types:
- Energy conservation measures, such as insulation and combination screen-storm windows and doors;
- Education on efficiency of energy usage;
- Alterations of unit's interior or exterior to increase efficiency of energy usage.
- Other energy-related repairs and energy education determined on an individual basis, dependent on applicants needs.
United Tribes desires to reduce the burden on low-income Native Americans by providing a high quality program which will enable Native American to provide a safe and healthy environment in which to live and raise their families.
COUNCIL TLINGIT AND
HAIDA INDIAN TRIBES OF ALASKA $175,000 *
The Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska is proposing to carry out a Phase II Energy Intervention and Family Stabilization/REACH project that builds on the findings and successes of the Phase I REACH program carried out in FY 1996. The Phase I project enabled the Central Council and Metlakatla Indian Community to develop and test several innovative strategies for reducing energy costs and increasing energy payment records for low-income Native families within the two communities. These strategies included utilization of LIHEAP as an outreach and service delivery conduit to low-income/vulnerable families, and utilization of a case planning approach to increasing family self-sufficiency, focusing on energy and household budget issues.
The two communities have reviewed the results of this Phase I REACH project, and have completed refinements to the project model. These refinements will increase the role of REACH and LIHEAP as the primary vehicle for outreach and delivery of basic services for low-income families, while developing cold season survival plans for families in crisis that address in an integrated manner household budget, energy, employment, transportation, housing and other self-sufficiency issues.
The Central Council strategy has four linked strategies: 1) utilization of LIHEAP program data base for early identification and outreach to those families in most critical need of energy assistance; 2) effective outreach/energy education prior to the heating season that provides common sense approaches to reducing and controlling energy costs; 3) ongoing assistance in budgeting, budget planning, including non-cash incentives, to bring about energy cost reduction and improvements in payment records to utilities; and, 4) linkages with other Central Council programs, including social services, family preservation, weatherization, and the Housing Improvement Program to address other family stabilization issues.
The Phase II project proposes to utilize more targeted outreach and community networks to reach those with the most extreme need and vulnerable populations within the two communities, targeting the low-income frail elderly and housebound, who are unable to take even the most basic steps to address their energy needs during the heating season. An important goal of the project will be to reach 95% of these families in this extreme need category.
The Phase II project will also include development of a project manual and guidebook that will be made available to other Native American groups nationwide, who are faced with low-income family energy and family self-sufficiency issues with their communities. This manual will be disseminated at the annual REACH conference.
* Includes Energy Efficiency Education Program
BAND OF OTTAWA
AND CHIPPEWA INDIANS (MICHIGAN) $70,738
The Grand Traverse Bank of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians (GTB) proposes to conduct a one-year REACH Program for eligible Native American households within its six-county rural service area in the Northwestern part of the lower peninsula of Michigan. The REACH initiatives of the Tribal Plan are designed to enhance and increase the ability of eligible Indian households to meet energy costs and help them to achieve self-sufficiency.
This project will increase and enhance intervention and education services given to previous eligible REACH recipients during office visits while they complete applications and/or seek referrals for additional assistance with paying heating expenses. The target population is 134 REACH recipients. In addition to the expected recipients, the GTB will continue to coordinate a state-wide information dissemination system to all Tribes within the State of Michigan. Established resources and professional guidance, which was secured with prior REACH grant monies, will be a way to provide on-going education and consultations on energy savings for Native Americans throughout the State of Michigan.
It is anticipated that 75% of the project participants will utilize one or more of the home-based materials of the Project Kit as a means of conserving energy; 50% will request additional information on ways to reduce their heating bills; 50% will receive family counseling on budgeting and/or other factors which affect energy use; 25% will participate in available programs of utility companies, such as monthly budget plans for payment of heating bills; and 5% of the most needy households will receive intensive household energy conservation services.
The proposed project will also expand and enhance services through the identification of 13 existing LIHEAP households, identified as needing intensive services in energy conservation. The services will include blower-door procedure assessments to determine household heat-loss and surveys of furnace safety and efficiency and servicing.
By applying the above interventions and education services, the project participants will alter their energy usage sufficiently to result in the following benefits: 1) at least 50% of the target population will have reduced heating bills; 2) at least 25% will pay their home energy bills more regularly; and 3) local energy vendors and Human Services will contribute toward reducing energy burdens in the following ways: co-facilitating the community meetings, conducting home inspections of furnaces and water heaters, assessing air infiltration needs of eligible households, offering weatherization programs available through the respective companies, converting heating systems (3 households) from propane or fuel oil to natural gas, and putting eligible households on affordable budget plans. The total number of low-income households which will benefit from the LIHEAP/REACH project is approximately 262 Native American Homes.