Residents of Travis County Texas may be able to receive emergency assistance and access to social services from the Family Support Services. A social worker from the government organization will review the family’s personal and financial situation to determine if an applicant is qualified for any services or public assistance. A summary of the Austin and Travis County financial assistance programs are below.
As with any government or charity program, funding and resources are limited. Any financial assistance is not guaranteed, and only a limited number of individuals will be able to qualify for help.
Some of the conditions of the Travis County emergency assistance programs include applicants need to meet the income guidelines, public funds need to be available for disbursement, and applicants need to bring all required paperwork. The county will also take into consideration how recently someone has received services in the past from public assistance. Emergency assistance includes one or more of the following:
Travis County Weatherization is offered by Family Support Services. This is a federal government funded program, and it offers services to help with standard energy efficiency improvements. Most services are free, and this can include HVAC duct sealing, air infiltration reduction, installation of solar screens, and floor and attic insulation. This program is available to those of low income who qualify, and resources are offered at no cost.
Travis County Housing Services provides qualified people with free weatherization, appliance upgrades, and limited home repairs. The main goal of housing services is to improve safety in these homes, increase energy efficiency, and improve a residents physical living conditions.
Additional services are provided by the Travis County Veterans Service Office. It can offer eligible veterans, their survivors and dependents direct and general support. This can include emergency financial help, or just assistance in obtaining all government and public benefits to which they are entitled from the Veterans Administration.
The county also runs the Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This is another government funded resource that is paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy public resource in partnership with the state of Texas.
A couple components are offered as part of LIHEAP. One is cash assistance and grants for paying electric and cooling bills. The other is the Comprehensive Energy Assistance Program (CEAP).
The state of Texas CEAP Program provides services to replace or retrofit inefficient cooling or heating appliances to help clients achieve energy self sufficiency and save money. The program may be able to help clients achieve energy self sufficiency by the tune up, repairs or replacement of refrigerators, AC’s, furnaces, space heaters, water heaters, or wood burning stoves. All assistance from CEAP is available to qualified low income and working poor homeowners and renters as long as an energy savings and reduction in bills can be demonstrated by the applicant.
Home Repair Services are available in Travis County. The government can help address immediate threats to a resident’s safety and health by offering and facilitating emergency repairs and handicap access measures. The Travis County Texas Home Repair Program provides both labor and materials to correct immediate threats to health and safety. Specifically, this includes emergency electrical and plumbing repairs, dwelling repairs, handicap access measures, and materials for "self help."
Another service offered in the greater Austin area is The Power Saver Program. This can provide loans, rebates, and programmable thermostats and refrigerator/freezer recycling. All aid is focused on helping people save money from energy bills.
Call the Travis County Family Support Services. The main office is at 100 N. IH 35, Austin, Texas 78701. Call (512) 854-4100.
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