DOE Amends Eligibility Provisions for Weatherization Assistance Program
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is amending the eligibility provisions applicable to multifamily buildings under the Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons. As a result of a final rule issued on January 25, if a multi-unit building is under an assisted or public housing program and is identified by HUD, and included on a list published by the DOE, that building will meet certain income eligibility requirements, and will also satisfy one or both of the procedural requirements to protect against rent increases and undue or excessive enhancement of the weatherized building, as indicated by the list, under the Weatherization Assistance Program without the need for further evaluation or verification.
The final rule also gives guidance to states with respect to addressing the requirement that the benefits of the weatherization assistance in connection with rental units (including units where the residents pay for their energy through their rent) will accrue primarily to the low-income residents residing in such units. If a multi-unit building includes units that participate in the LIHTC program, or includes units that participate in the USDA Rural Housing Service’s Multifamily Housing Programs, and is included on a list published by the DOE, that building will also meet the income eligibility requirements of the program without needing further evaluation or verification. DOE hopes that this final rule will reduce the procedural burdens on evaluating applications from buildings that belong to any of these programs.
The final rule is effective February 24, 2010.