Utility Bill Payment Assistance

Utility Bill Payment Assistance

Assistance with Union Gas and Oakville Hydro bills
is funded through the distribution rates of distributors and is a grant
program intended to provide emergency relief to
eligible low-income customers who may be experiencing difficulty paying current
arrears and have cut-off notices. It is not intended to provide regular or
ongoing bill payment assistance. Assistance can only be provided once a year.

Eligibility

1.)    You must reside at a home in Oakville with arrears and
your name must be on the outstanding bill.

2.)    You must have a household income that is below the
poverty line

3.)    You must have an account in arrears or received
notice of disconnection

4.)    Have a plan for how you will pay future bills

5.)    You cannot have applied in the last 12 months for this
assistance

6.)    If you owe more than $500 you must be able to pay the
amount over and above $500

If you would like to apply then please send an email
to grainne@opnc.ca and she will email you a list of
questions to help us determine if you qualify. Otherwise please call Gráinne at
905-257-6029 to set up an in person interview time.

Documentation Needed:

1.      Current energy bills for your residence

2.      A Disconnection Notice from your service
provider, if you have received one

3.      Identification – two pieces of identification
for the main applicant, and 1 piece of identification for each of the other
household members

4.      A copy of a rental receipt, lease or mortgage
documents

5.      Proof of household income – cheque stub, employment
letter, and/or income tax return for all adult occupants within the household,
and

6.      A copy of your most recent monthly bank
statement

If your application is approved, your service provider will be contacted and asked to
stop any further disconnection or collection action on your account. Grants are
issued on behalf of applicants directly to the service provider.

Similarly, if your application is denied, your service provider will be contacted and
informed of the decision.

Other Sources of Funds for Utility payments

You may be able to access other sources of funding for assistance with energy arrears.
These funds may be particularly helpful if you do not qualify with us, or if
the maximum grant is not sufficient to cover your arrears.

Emergency Energy Fund

The Emergency Energy Fund is a provincial government program that provides funding for
utility arrears, security deposits and reconnection costs for consumers of
electricity, natural gas, oil and other forms of energy. The fund is administered
by municipalities, some of which sub-contract delivery to social service
agencies. The maximum grant per household is the amount required by the service
provider to maintain or reconnect service. Funds are available year round, or
at least as long as the annual allocation lasts.

Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program

If you are eligible for Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program
you may be able to obtain assistance with energy arrears through the Community
Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit (CSUMB).

Discretionary Benefits under OW and ODSP: If you receive Ontario Works or the
Ontario Disability Support Program, you may be eligible for discretionary
benefits for, among other costs, funds for utility and/or heating arrears. The
fund is municipally administered.

 

Other Resources

Region of Halton -
Coordinated Intervention Services 905-825-6000 (resources for income
supplements, energy expenses assistance, child care subsidy, support for
children with disabilities and housing supplements.)

The Provincial Government has provided one-time
funding through the Rent Bank Fund designed to provide financial
assistance with short-term utility and rental arrears to low-income individuals
and families to aid them in staying in their homes.  * funds administered
by the Coordinated Intervention Services Team (CIS) of the Social &
Community Services Department * a caseworker determines eligibility for
individuals and families * policies and procedures that the CIS Team currently
uses to define eligibility will be applied to the request for assistance from
these funds. scs@halton.ca

HATCH is a one-stop service for people applying for subsidized housing in Halton
Region.

* new applicants apply at 1151 Bronte Road,
Oakville 905-825-6000.

* eligible applicants with questions about
application status are directed to contact the Housing Division, 690 Dorval
Drive, 7th Floor, Oakville 905-825-6000.

* once an application is reviewed and approved
by Halton Region, individuals select from an inventory of social housing
providers.   * locations, contact names, telephone numbers, available on
website www.halton.ca/living_in_halton/housing/    hatch@halton.ca

St Vincent DePaul

Offers assistance to poor families in need,
particularly single mothers and senior citizens by providing food vouchers,
clothing, summer camps and occasionally furniture.

South of QEW  905-827-2373 St Dominic
RC stdom@saintdominicparishoakville.ca

Local Faith Groups

Contact a faith community near you and ask for
emergency assistance

Food Banks

Kerr Street Ministries- Kerr St
Just below Speers Tue 10 am-12:30 pm, Thu 2:30 pm-5:15 pm, Sat
10:30 am-12:00pm

FoodShare 1240 Speers between 3
& 4th Line Mon 10
am-2 pm; Thu 3 pm-7 pm

Salvation Army  1225
Rebecca Mon-Fri 9 am-noon, 1 pm-4 pm; please call for
appointment.

OakPark Neighbourhood Centre – Wednesdays
12-12:30 (closed Christmas, March Break & last 2 weeks of August) www.opnc.ca

Free 2011 Income Tax Clinics for Low Income
($20-30,000)residents:

* Community Volunteer Income Tax Program
(CVITP) Community-based outreach program sponsored by the Canada Revenue
Agency * volunteers donate their time * for individuals with low income and a
simple tax situation are eligible for this free service.

Volunteers DO NOT complete income tax and
benefit returns for: deceased persons * bankrupt individuals * individuals with
capital gains/losses * with business * or for rental income and expenses. Call
1-800-959-8281 or visit the website.

* Office of T. Young: 337 Kerr Street,
Oakville. Drop off, leave & pick up at later date * Walk-ins are welcome.
* White Oaks Branch Library: 1070 McCraney
St E., Oakville. * drop off,first-come first-served * have all tax materials
ready for brief interview * leave & pick up at later date.

* Women’s Centre Hopedale Mall, Suite
229, 1515 Rebecca St, Oakville. *Eligibility: WOMEN only with a maximum
gross income. * first-come first-served basis *drop off, leave & pick up at
later date.

* Halton Multicultural Council Speers
Road, Oakville. Newcomers/new immigrants only * with low income .
Call 905-842-2486 ext 240 for more information.

* Seniors: Kerr Street Centre * Oakville
Seniors Centres’ members  Limited spaces * register in person or by phone:
905-815-5966.

Credit counselling

free At Square One plaza- 2 wks wait for appt,
416-228-3328

HIPPY-

An free early literacy program for vulnerable families.  Free children’s Home Visitors. Parents are supported by easy-to-use activity
packets that make learning and play fun. coordinator@hippyoakville.org
905-582-7860 www.hippyoakville.org

Online Money Saving & Budgeting Resources

Frugal Cookbook http://www.squawkfox.com/downloads/squawkfox_frugalfoodfit.pdf

Resumes Templates http://www.squawkfox.com/category/resumes/

Ways to save http://www.squawkfox.com/2008/09/02/50-ways-to-save-1000-a-year/

Ways to stay cool & reduce your air
conditioning bill http://www.squawkfox.com/2009/07/31/ceiling-fans-air-conditioning/

Plug your outlets to save 5% on heating http://www.squawkfox.com/2009/05/11/child-proof-outlets-save/

save Money on Laundry http://www.squawkfox.com/2008/06/25/how-to-save-money-on-laundry/

Debt Reduction work Sheet http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/08/16/debt-reduction-spreadsheet/

save A Penny Videos http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/04/30/money-tips-saving-penny/

How to Make  Budget http://www.squawkfox.com/2010/03/03/how-to-make-a-budget/

To determine whether you are eligible for Winter Warmth and Leap assistance, I will need to ask you some
questions about your household, income, mortgage or rental expenses and utility
account.  The information requested and collected is for the purpose
of processing your application to the Winter Warmth and Leap Programs. All of
the information collected is considered confidential and will not be discussed
with anyone outside our agency without your permission.  Do you
consent to providing the requested information for the purpose of processing
your applications?  Yes or No

1 – your full name, date of birth

2 – names and dates of birth of anyone else living
with you (please include all residents in home)

3 – Do you rent or own your home? Monthly rent or
Mortgage amount $

4 – Date you moved in, full address including postal
code

5 – Details of monthly income (this should be for
everyone living in the household) Amounts received monthly from employment, UI
or any other sources (average GROSS income for everyone in household)

6 – Have you received any grants or funding before for
utilities?

7 – Date and amount of your last payment to
Oakville Hydro and/or Union Gas

8 – Amount owing on your statement/collection notice
and cut-off date if given for Oakville Hydro and/or Union Gas

9 – Account numbers for Oakville
Hydro and/or Union Gas

10 – Do I have your permission to
contact Oakville Hydro  and/or Union Gas to discuss your
application?

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