Office of Community Services Releases Guidance for Use of LIHEAP Funds Appropriated in ARP Act

August 26, 2022 - A recent Information Memorandum has been released by the Office of Community Services (OCS) that provides and overview and guidance on LIHEAP funds made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021 (Pub. L. 117-2).

The ARP Act, signed into law by President Biden on March 11, 2021, provided $4.5 billion in additional funding to provide payments for LIHEAP. OCS announces that it has awarded 100 percent of these supplemental funds to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, five U.S. territories, and 144 Native American Tribes and Tribal Organizations. LIHEAP grant recipients were then allowed to obligate any portion of the funds in fiscal year (FY) 2021 or FY 2022. The obligations were contingent upon recipients' own rules for funds obligation. The deadline to obligate funds is September 30, 2022.

According to the OCS Information Memorandum, "ARP will remain in the Payment Management System (PMS) for the usual period of availability. However, recipients may be required to provide supporting documentation to their Grants Management Officer prior to drawing down funds if such a draw down requests are made one year after the close of the obligation periods under those accounts.

Block grant recipients are required to expend their award according to the same rules that are applied to their own funding. These requirements include the timeframe in which the funds are expended or liquidated. For example, if a state, territory, or tribe is required to expend or liquidate its own state funds within a certain timeframe, then that is the same expenditure deadline they must apply to their federal LIHEAP funding. Grant recipients may not set expenditure deadlines for federal funding than are different from their own state, territory, or tribe's funding deadline.

Funds by be used for any purpose that is normally authorized under the federal LIHEAP statute. This includes heating, cooling, crisis, weatherization assistance, case management for the reduction of home energy burden, and administrative costs.