The contribution to the Affordable Housing Alliance's PAGE program aims to provide relief to low and moderate-income families in the state.
The New Jersey Department of Treasury's Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA) has announced a contribution of $3.9 million to support low and moderate-income households in paying their utility bills. The contribution will be given to the Affordable Housing Alliance (AHA) for the Payment Assistance for Gas and Electric (PAGE) program every year.
Approximately 33 million people in the US, or one in every ten, have unclaimed property. When an individual has not made any activity on a financial account or valuable item for a significant period, the company is required to submit the money or property to the state if they are unable to locate the owner. Examples of unclaimed property include forgotten bank accounts, unused rebate cards, unpaid life insurance benefits, and utility deposits.
The Unclaimed Utility Deposits Trust Fund receives all funds received from electric and gas utilities for unclaimed property deposits. 75% of these funds are issued to a statewide non-profit energy assistance organization designated by the Board of Public Utilities. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) supports PAGE and other non-profit organizations through its Winter Termination Program.
State law requires that the funds from the Unclaimed Utility Deposits Trust Fund be used exclusively for restoring or preventing the termination of electric or gas service for those seeking energy assistance. The remaining portion is retained in the trust fund and managed by the State Treasurer to pay unclaimed property claims and expenses incurred by the State of New Jersey.
AHA, a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation based in New Jersey, has been providing housing and related support to the state's residents for over 24 years. The alliance manages various utility assistance programs, including PAGE and LIHEAP, to help low and moderate-income individuals and families pay their gas, electric, and oil bills. Applications for assistance can be found online.
The Treasury encourages all New Jersey citizens to check if the state is holding their unclaimed property by searching their name, a maiden name, or the name of a business or nonprofit at https://www.unclaimedproperty.nj.gov/ or www.unclaimed.org. The search is free.
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