Federal government releases $5.2 million to Maine; will provide additional heating fuel assistance
AUGUSTA – MaineHousing is providing an additional $5.2 million in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program benefits to eligible low-income households starting Monday, February 24.
Most of the 31,000 households that already received heating assistance this winter will see an additional benefit sent to their fuel dealer. A letter stating their benefit amount will be mailed to each household. The benefit range is $28 to $322, with an average of $102.
For many households, the extra benefit is not enough money to cover a fuel delivery. Additional out-of-pocket funds from customers may be necessary as most fuel vendors have minimum delivery requirements
The $5.2 million in additional funds released this month by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now fully funds LIHEAP at the level announced last November.
This winter, MaineHousing will distribute $37.7 million in heating assistance to 50,000 households, as well as fund emergency heating assistance, weatherization and central heating replacement programs for low-income households. The average heating assistance benefit this season now is $664, with a range of $164 to $1,886, and any household application processed and approved beginning February 10 may expect a LIHEAP benefit in that range.
MaineHousing partners with Maine’s Community Action Agencies (CAAs) and more than 400 private fuel vendors in the state to deliver LIHEAP heating assistance to low-income households. The CAAs take and process the applications for MaineHousing. Applications are accepted through the end of April.
The amount of LIHEAP assistance an individual may get is based on household income, size, energy costs, and other factors. The average annual household income for households being assisted so far this season is $15,149.
Households needing emergency heating assistance are encouraged to visit community action agencies or call 211, a service of the United Way, to receive information on what programs or services may be available.
To view eligibility requirements, please visit www.mainehousing.org and select “energy.”