ASBURY PARK – Monmouth County residents who are having difficulty paying their utility bills can get help on Wednesday, March 4 between 4 and 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army office located in Asbury Park at 605 Asbury Avenue.
The event, which is hosted by the office of Senator Vin Gopal and Assembly Members Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, offers residents an opportunity to apply for lower monthly payments on gas, water, and electric utilities. Households earning up to $100,000 annually can potentially qualify for reduced payments and credits on their utility bills.
“If you’ve fallen behind on your utility bills, or if you know you’re going to have a difficult time paying for your bills in the near future, there are many programs that can help you,” said Senator Gopal (D-Long Branch). “We’re here to connect you with these services and make sure that you can immediately apply any assistance you get to your next month’s utility bill.”
Residents will be able to get help applying for assistance from the Universal Service Fund, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), NJ PAGE, and NJ Shares, which can help with gas and electric utilities – and, in the case of NJ Shares, with water utilities as well. JCP&L and American Water will also be present to assist attendees, while representatives from the Affordable Housing Alliance and New Jersey Natural Gas will also be available to help guide applicants through the process of applying for aid.
“Any interested households should be aware that these assistance programs require applicants to provide very specific documents, including proof of identification, proof of residency, proof of legal residency, and proof of income,” said Assemblywoman Downey, who oversees legislation impacting utility assistance programs as Assembly Chair of Human Services. “Please make sure to contact our office to receive a full list of required documents before attending this event.”
Required documents may include – but are not limited to – social security cards, drivers’ licenses, birth certificates, custody papers, pay stubs, child support statements, TANF or General Assistance award letters, interest or dividends bank statements, lease agreements, recent energy bills, or USCIS temporary work permits.
Residents are encouraged to call the legislators’ district office at (732) 695-3371 before Friday, February 28 to RSVP and to obtain a full list of documents that they will need to bring in order to receive assistance.
No appointments or reservations are necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.
“As we exit the winter months and begin preparing for hot summer weather, we want to make sure that nobody is left to freeze or overheat because they can’t afford to pay the bills,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling. “If you think that a lower monthly payment can help your paycheck go further for you and your family, or if you’re struggling to make ends meet, please don’t hesitate to give us a call – we’re more than happy to help.”