A recent study on this program’s lack of checks and balances prompted state representatives to require new income eligibility verification for the Weatherization Assistance Programs and Low Income Heating Assistance Program.
House Bill 1991 aims to deflect funds from ineligible residents, so they can reach the thousands of eligible Pennsylvanians on the waiting list.
Another aspect of the measure would eliminate conflicts of interest on projects between agencies and contractors.
A February special report from the Office of the Auditor General cited eligibility issues in the federally funded weatherization program under the state Department of Community and Economic Development. Following are other observations in the study of 90 cases:
- Eight weatherization projects, totaling $29,841, were carried out at residences where the applicant was deceased. The audit says DCED management did not confirm re-eligibility before moving ahead with projects.
- Twenty cases, totaling $154,958, involved renters receiving benefits who did not pay rent to the landlord.
- One household received $2,878 in services in 2010, even though the Social Security number provided on the application belonged to a resident who died in 2008;
- Three projects, totaling $28,609, were completed, even though the applicants were not income eligible