HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Hidalgo County Community Service Agency announced that it has exhausted all funding and will no longer be accepting applications for low-income housing energy assistance.

The Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) received just over $6 million from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the 2022 program year.

The funds were meant to be used to help residents with the high energy costs, such as electricity and natural gas for their homes. To date, over 6,000 Hidalgo County families have received funding from the program. Every family receives about $1,000.

“[The] guidelines of this program are designed to meet the needs of about 6-8% of the eligible families that apply,” said Jaime Longoria, Executive Director of the Hidalgo County Community Service Agency. “The need in our county, as in other counties, is far greater than the eligible resources. Due to lack of funds, CSA will no longer accept applications for the Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program.”

Since the announcement, 2,900 applications have not been processed and 1,400 have been completed and are waiting on funding. The agency said it will continue to process completed applications received as of Tuesday by utilizing alternative funds to assist eligible families.

The 1,400 completed applications represent about $840,000. CSA receives about $6.6 million every year at the beginning of the year.

According to the release, the Hidalgo County Commissioners Court and CSA will continue to seek additional funding through other resources in hopes of re-opening the program in the future.

On Wednesday, Longoria said he was in Austin talking to state officials to ask for additional funds.

Longoria said some private retail electrical providers such as Just Energy, Direct Energy Company, Magic Valley Electric, Reliant Energy and TXU Energy provide funding privately to help families that are struggling.

“We’re talking tens of thousands of dollars, we’re not talking millions of dollars,” he said.

Some of the 1,400 families in que will be reviewed to see if they are eligible for those private funds.

“This is normal operations,” Longoria said “We always have a much greater need than funds available. The reason we accept applications is so that we are first in line if additional monies become available. If you don’t have applications and families that are requesting assistance then you are not at the table if there’s any additional money available.”