Senate President Stephen Sweeney
Deputy Speaker John Burzichelli
Assemblyman Adam Taliaferro

South Jersey Times – Senate President Steve Sweeney, Assembly Deputy Speaker John J. Burzichelli and Assemblywoman Celeste Riley today announced the award of over $778,000 in Universal Service Fund (USF) grants for the 3rd legislative district.

“These funds are crucial to low income folks who are struggling to pay their electric and heating bills. They are sorely needed and could not come at a better time,” said Sweeney.

“With winter just weeks away, the temperature is only going to continue to drop. We cannot in good conscience allow hard working people to have their heat turned off because they are struggling to make ends meet. These funds are money well spent,” said Burzichelli.

“There are few programs that serve a more noble purpose than this one. We cannot literally leave folks out in the cold simply because they are struggling in this state’s economy. The USF serves a good purpose and we welcome these funds to the third district,” said Riley.

The State of New Jersey created the USF program to help make energy bills more affordable for low income customers. The goal of the USF program is to help ensure that income eligible New Jersey utility customers pay no more than 6% of their annual income for their natural gas and electric service combined. Households with income equal to or less than 175% of the Federal Poverty Level are income eligible. The program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs.

The grants have been awarded as follows:

• Bethel Development Corporation will receive $126,401 and Nanticoke-Lenni Lenape Indians of New Jersey will receive $27,401to ensure that eligible Cumberland County utility customers pay no more than an affordable portion of their household income for energy costs.

• Gateway Community Action Partnership will receive $407,080 to ensure that eligible utility customers in Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties pay no more than an affordable portion of their household income for energy costs.

• Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc., has been awarded $200,921 to ensure that eligible residents of Gloucester County pay no more than an affordable portion of their household income for energy costs.

• Gloucester County will receive $6,969, Salem County Board of Social Services will receive $2,542, and Cumberland County Board of Social Services will receive $6,792 to administer the intake and eligibility determination of prospective beneficiaries of the Universal Service Fund, including the accurate input of verified client information into the Family Assistance Management Information System.

District Offices

Gloucester County

Kingsway Commons
935 Kings Highway, Suite 400
West Deptford, NJ 08086
Phone: (856) 251-9801
Fax: (856) 251-9752

Salem/Cumberland Counties

The Finlaw Building
199 East Broadway, Suite G
Salem, NJ 08079
Phone: (856) 339-0808 or
             (856) 455-1011
Fax: (856) 339-9626