It’s time for some low-income households to sign up for this winter’s Low-Income Heating Assistance Program, LIHEAP. Director Jerry McKim says signup for the program begins October first, so assume most offices will start taking applications Monday, October 3. And this month is reserved for three groups, the first two include clients who are over 60 or disabled. A change this year is that they’ll also allow a household to apply in October if anyone in it is an evacuee from gulf-coast storms. That’ll have to be confirmed, generally by their previous registration with FEMA, Red Cross, or the Department of Human Services. On November first, all others can apply at their local Community Action agency. If you don’t know where that is, call McKim in his office, at (515) 281-0859. McKim says he’s concerned that utilities, government, social service agencies and Congress, which has not increased the LIHEAP funding, all know heating prices are going to be 40-percent higher this winter but nothing’s being done to prepare for it.He says high gas prices may break a household’s budget, but “high energy prices, particularly in the midst of an Iowa winter, can be a life-or-death matter.” He says he hasn’t seen any action coming forth on the federal, state or local level.
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