Some Iowans can now sign up for heating assistance. Jerry McKim heads LIHEAP, the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program that helps some residents with power bills. He says the program’s “open for business,” though as of October 1st they only sign up households with a member who’s elderly ior disabled, and the rest of the low-income who think they might qualify can sign up starting the first of November. McKim says it’s not clear just how much money the state will have to share with low-income Iowans for paying heating costs this winter. Congress hasn’t yet passed the appropriations bill for the program, but looking at measures before the U-S House and Senate he calculates the total will be about the same as last year, at best, around 33-Million dollars. Last year around 82,500 households statewide signed up and McKim anticipates an increase over that this year, though he can’t say how much. McKim says it will depend on how high the price of heating fuel goes and whether the winter’s colder than the past couple relatively mild ones. To sign up or get information on the low-income heating assistance program, call McKim at (515) 281-0859 or contact your local community action agency.
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