MICHIGAN CITY — The COVID-19 pandemic has cost people their jobs and incomes, but one local agency is offering several types of assistance to help families get through it.

North Central Community Action Agencies Inc. is now accepting applications for assistance for those who suffered income loss during the coronavirus outbreak, according to executive director Cynthia Davis.

“With the upcoming release of Community Services Block Grant CARES ACT funding from the Indiana Housing Community Development Authority, NCCAA will have assistance available for utilities – gas and electric – and mortgage/rent payments,” she said.

NCCAA was able to offer COVID-19 rental and mortgage assistance during the beginning of the pandemic with funding provided by Healthcare Foundation of La Porte, according to Davis.

And the agency continues to receive funding from the La Porte County United Way for water bill assistance.

The CARES Act funding will be available throughout the year until funding is exhausted, she said.

Housing and water assistance applicants need to contact the office Monday through Thursday for assistance.

LIHEAP CARES Act funding will be available in conjunction with the regular Energy Assistance season, she said.

“Therefore this CARES Act benefit is available until July 31, and then not offered until the beginning of the 2021 season starting Nov. 1,” she said.

“NCCAA is still accepting applications for households that have not yet applied for the 2020 program year. New applicants are encouraged to apply online or visit our website for a downloadable application.”

Households that have already applied for the Energy Assistance Program for the 2020 program year, which began Nov. 1, 2019, should contact the office to discuss the application process for LIHEAP CARES Act funding.

Eligibility for all assistance is limited to households with a combined gross monthly income of up to 60 percent of the State Median Income, Davis said.

For one person, that’s a gross monthly income of no more than $2,069; for two residents, $2,706; for three, $3,343; for four, $3,979; for five $4,616; for six, $5,253; for seven, $5,372; and for eight, $5,492.

“Households must have at least one member who has encountered a drastic loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the state of emergency defined by the governor,” she said.

“Currently the income loss would need to fall between March 6 and July 3. This will need to be documented in your case file in order for assistance to be given.”

All households applying for this assistance must provide the following documentation, without exception, Davis said:

Photo ID for head of household

Social Security cards for all household members

Proof of income for the previous three months

Current utility bills and disconnection notices, if relevant

Completed provided landlord form for rental assistance or mortgage statement for mortgage payment

Completed Request for Employment Information form or proof of drastic loss of income

NCCAA’S CARES ACT funding that is provided by IHCDA will be available for two years or until granted funds are exhausted, Davis said.

Additional information can be found at nccomact.org or the NCCAA Facebook page.

Applications for all available COVID-19 assistance are available at the office at 301 E. 8th St., Suite 109, in Michigan City. Call (219) 872-0351 for more information.

– From staff reports

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