AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Health and Human Services is adding an extra $3 million this winter to a program that helps low-income families pay for heating costs.
DHHS is working with the Maine State Housing Authority to provide this extra block grant funding to the Maine Home Energy Assistance Program.
HEAP is a federally-funded program that assists Maine homeowners with energy costs. Individuals are eligible if they make $18,210 or less a year, and families of four are eligible if they $37,650 or less a year.
Homeowners who meet these requirements get about $918 in assistance, which is usually paid directly to their fuel supplier.
"This program provides critical, short term financial assistance to the most vulnerable in our communities," said MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan in a statement. "In many cases, this assistance is the difference between heating and eating or other vital necessities."
Brennan also said that nearly 28,000 Maine households need and receive help paying their fuel bills each heating season.
"During the remaining cold months, this funding can help families across Maine cover the cost of fuel," said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne M. Lambrew in a statement. "We urge you to check out this program to see if are eligible for assistance today."
Anyone interested in applying should contact their MaineHousing Community Action Agency for help.