A federal program to help low-income Idahoans pay their heating bills has run out of money and will end early, according to a Department of Health and Welfare (DHW) news release Friday. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provided $17 million in federal money to help 45,000 household in Idaho stay warm. The program was scheduled to run until April, but will not take any new applications. Households received an average of $355 in heating assistance this winter.
“We could have easily served twice as many as we did if more funding had been available,” said Mary Chant, executive chair of the Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho. “This year was an incredibly difficult year for tens of thousands of Idaho families.”
Read a DHW news release below.
High Demand End Home Energy Assistance Program Early
High demand for the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has exhausted Idaho’s allocation sooner than usual this winter, causing the program to close almost three weeks early.
Families will no longer be able to apply for heating assistance through the program after the close of business today and are advised to call 211 or go to www.idahocareline.org for information on other resources that may be available to those struggling to meet home energy or other needs.
“This year was an incredibly difficult year for tens of thousands of Idaho families,” says Mary Chant, Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho executive chair. “We could have easily served twice as many as we did if more funding had been available.”
Idaho received more than $17 million in LIHEAP funding this year and served an estimated 45,000 low income Idaho households. Funding for the program was increased during the past two heating seasons to address a greater need due to a worsening economy.
In most years, the program extends through April 1 to help needy Idahoans during the coldest months. The program is designed particularly to assist those who pay a high proportion of their household income toward home energy. This heating season, households received an average of $355 in heating assistance.
In partnership with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Community Action Partnership Agencies throughout Idaho have been taking LIHEAP applications and processing benefits for almost 30 years, and began this season last November.