2- McCutcheon HHAO Energy Poverty Workshop

Document Sample
2- McCutcheon HHAO Energy Poverty Workshop Powered By Docstoc
					Energy Poverty &
the Housing Help Sector

One Voice, Many Solutions to Homelessness
Housing Help Association of Ontario Conference
October 21, 2008


Margaret McCutcheon, Public Education Manager
Community Counselling & Resource Centre
Case Study:
Housing Resource Centre
Peterborough
Services include:
    Vacancy Listings & Housing Information
    Housing Counselling, Support & Referral
    Homelessness Prevention Funds
    Community Anti-poverty & Homelessness
     Initiatives


Community Counselling & Resource Centre   20 October 2011   2
HRC Energy Poverty Responses
     Deliver homelessness prevention funds
     Developed FUSE fund with local utility
     Negotiate and advocate with utilities/providers
      on behalf of clients
     Electricity retailer advocacy
     Provide applications for low income energy
      efficiency programs
     Community initiatives & public education

Community Counselling & Resource Centre    20 October 2011   3
   Homelessness Prevention Funds
Fund                           Purpose                      Funder

Rent Bank                      Rent Arrears                 City and County
                                                            (Provincial Funds )
Emergency Energy               Electricity and Heating      City and County
Fund                           Arrears & Deposits           (Provincial Funds)

FUSE ( Fund For                Electricity Arrears for      Peterborough Utility
Utility Service                Customers of local utility   Services & donations
Emergencies)

Winter Warmth                  Natural Gas Arrears &        Enbridge Gas Funds
                               Deposits                     through United Way
Emergency                      Last month’s rent, moving, Private Donations
Assistance Fund                storage, etc.

  Community Counselling & Resource Centre                            20 October 2011   4
                                      FUSE Fund
    Joint initiative of Housing Resource Centre and
     Peterborough Utilities Services, 2003
    PUS provides funds and solicits on-bill charitable
     donations
    HRC requests grace period for client to halt
     disconnection process
    All low income customers eligible (below LICO)
    If approved, funds for arrears or security
     deposits paid direct to PUS

Community Counselling & Resource Centre           20 October 2011   5
Homelessness Prevention Funds
Total Funding & Average Allocation 2007
  Fund                                       Households Total
                                             Assisted   Funding
                                 Rent Bank                122        $61,168
             Emergency Energy Fund                        128        $51,421

             FUSE ( Fund For Utility                      147        $38,450
               Service Emergencies)
                         Winter Warmth                     34          $9,914
                HRC Emergency Fund                        138        $41,634

                                    TOTAL                569      $202,587

                                     Average Allocation Per Household = $356

Community Counselling & Resource Centre                         20 October 2011   8
Other Sources of Energy Assistance

     Community Start Up & Maintenance Benefit
     Discretionary Benefits
     Ontario Works Emergency Assistance
     Salvation Army




Community Counselling & Resource Centre   20 October 2011   9
Challenges to Delivering
Emergency Energy Assistance
     Barriers to accessing emergency energy
      assistance:
      ◦ Clients who put utilities in another name due
        to poor credit or arrears
      ◦ Tenants with sub-meters do not have direct
        relationship with utility
      ◦ Clients using other heating sources (e.g. oil,
        wood, propane)
      ◦ Raising awareness of availability of funds

Community Counselling & Resource Centre    20 October 2011   10
Challenges to Delivering
Emergency Energy Assistance
     Inadequate funding levels
      ◦ Funding does not match rising need
      ◦ Charges for late fees, disconnection notices,
        re-connection eat up funds
      ◦ Security deposits – using emergency
        assistance funds as utility guarantee




Community Counselling & Resource Centre    20 October 2011   11
Challenges to Delivering
Emergency Energy Assistance
     Agency Role & Resources
      ◦ Clients presenting with greater arrears due to
        higher energy costs & billing practices, requiring
        time and effort to find funds to cover arrears –
        coordination on the ground
      ◦ Balancing fund administration with other housing
        support activities
      ◦ Maintaining balanced relationship with utilities,
        when must advocate with utility that is also
        funder
Community Counselling & Resource Centre        20 October 2011   12
Other Challenges
     Lack of solid local data on energy poverty
      including household energy costs and energy
      burden
     Lack of meaningful low income conservation &
      energy efficiency programs
     Complexity of competitive energy marketplace
      - electricity retailers & gas marketers




Community Counselling & Resource Centre   20 October 2011   13
The Housing Help Sector
     Housing Help Sector positioned to play a key
      role in addressing energy poverty
      ◦ Knowledge of local needs
      ◦ Relationships with local utilities and
        community agencies
      ◦ Service delivery, including negotiation,
        advocacy & financial assistance for clients
      ◦ Education for clients and community
      ◦ Community advocacy
Community Counselling & Resource Centre      20 October 2011   14
Areas for Action
     Advocacy & education
      ◦ Electricity retailers & gas marketers, sub-
        metering, energy poverty
     Using the success of established programs to
      advocate for new programs
      ◦ Emergency energy assistance funds
      ◦ Partnerships with utility providers
     Linking energy assistance and energy efficiency
      applications
Community Counselling & Resource Centre       20 October 2011   15
www.housingpeterborough.com




                                                Margaret McCutcheon
                                             Public Education Manager
                                          mmccutcheon@ccrc-ptbo.com


Community Counselling & Resource Centre                 20 October 2011   16

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:1
posted:10/20/2011
language:English
pages:16