Thursday, April 2, 2015


Residents Delinquent in Payments to Utilities Will Have No Utility Bill Assistance Available This Spring and May See Service Interruptions Beginning April 1st 

The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be unavailable this spring to help Cook County residents who are behind in their payments to Illinois’ public utilities.  Over the last five years, federal funds for the program has declined, as Cook County residents’ need has increased.  Beginning April 1st, those residents could face interruption of their gas and/or electric service.

LIHEAP, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the State of Illinois, is designed to assist eligible low income households pay for winter energy services.  In Cook County, the program is administered by the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County (CEDA), who has already helped more than 144,000 low-income households with their energy needs since September.   Last year 19,000 households used the LIHEAP program between March 16th and May 31st.  A 37% decline in available federal funding over the last five years and increases in need, have resulted in a funding shortfall this program year and will mean that no reconnection assistance will be available this spring.

This year, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) informed CEDA that funding for LIHEAP in Cook County has been exhausted and residents will not receive further financial assistance from the program during this Program Year.  Each year, LIHEAP ends on May 31st or until funding is exhausted, whichever occurs first.

The lack of funds will have a significant impact on Cook County residents who depend on LIHEAP to remove the threat of utility disconnection in the spring. While state law prohibits a gas or electric public utility from terminating service between December 1st and March 31st (except under certain conditions), the winter moratorium is ending.  On April 1st, public utilities may begin interrupting service to customers who are behind in their payments.     

Cook County residents with delinquent accounts should immediately contact the customer service department of their gas or electric public utility to request a payment plan or deferred billing plan  (contact information can be found on the monthly bills).  In addition, the customer service telephone numbers for Illinois’ major public utilities are: 

Com Ed Care:    (888) 806-2273
Peoples’ Gas Co:    (866) 556-6001
North Shore Gas Co.: (847) 336-9300
NICOR:   (888) 642-6748 

For more information, please visit or call CEDA at (800) 571-2332. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


A distinguished executive with senior management experience in both the non-profit and corporate sectors is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA).

The Governing Board of Directors announced the appointment of Mr. Harold T. Rice to the leadership posts, effective July 1, 2014. 

The Board conducted a national search to identify new leadership to direct the agency and implement innovative procedures to assure CEDA’s long-term stability.

Mr. Rice brings more than 35 years of successful organizational leadership, with a record of corporate strategy development, operational management and fiscal prudence. Since 2008, he has been the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Albany Park Community Center. Prior to that role, Mr. Rice held multiple senior positions at the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, serving at times as the Chief Development Officer, Chief Operating Office and a member of the Board of Directors. Earlier in his career, Mr. Rice owned and operated multiple McDonald’s franchises in the area and also worked for Baxter’s American Hospital Supply Division.

Mr. Rice will report to the Board and have overall responsibility for the implementation of policies, programs, and operations of the agency. He joins a leadership team that has been stabilized and strengthened by the efforts of Pam Pullman, the interim COO and Joel Wilcoxen, the interim CFO.

This year marks CEDA’s 50th anniversary of administering programs and services as part of the historic War on Poverty implemented under the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. Mr. Rice joins CEDA as the organization continues to design and implement new service delivery models, budgetary controls, and ways to maximize client capacity. CEDA remains committed to its historic mission of working in partnership with communities, empowering families, and helping individuals achieve self-sufficiency.

Mr. Rice earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Engineering Technology from Kennedy-King College and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Minnesota. He also has a Master of Science Degree from Cardinal Stritch University.

For more information, please visit


For Further Information, please contact Tilden Katz –
(312) 606-2614 /

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Apply Now for Home Weatherization!

CEDA Weatherization is a year-round program using state-of-the-art technology to make homes more energy-efficient for qualifying low-income clients in Chicago and suburban Cook County. Weatherization provides safety and health equipment, repairs or replaces heating systems, seals air bypasses and other drafty areas, increases attic, wall, basement, and crawl space insulation. These measures will save energy for homeowners and keep homes warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Call (800) 571-CEDA (2332) or visit today for more information on how to apply.