LIHEAP grant will help

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 16, 2000

some residents pay bills


Staff Writer

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Recent cooler temperatures came as a surprise to many Pike County residents, especially those who couldn’t afford heating their homes.

Thanks to money made available to the state’s 23 Community Action Agencies by Gov. Don Siegelman, those bills will not be as hard to pay.

This week, the governor released $53,022 to the Organized Community Action Program in Troy and a total of more than $1 million through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which gives low-income families help meet the high cost of warming their homes during the winter months.

On Feb. 23, OCAP received $43,818 from the same program and was able to help area residents.

For the local agency, the money comes at a good time since warmer weather is approaching.

Wanda Moultry, area supervisor for the OCAP, said the money will definitely be needed "if it is as hot as it was last year."

"Without these funds, many of our state’s low income elderly, disabled and those with small children would have to endure the winter season without heat," Siegelman said.

"Many of these people would have their power terminated, leaving them with no way to prepare meals or keep their homes warm."

The purpose of the program is to help those whose combined monthly income is at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level meet the rising cost of heating and cooling a home.

This year, alone, $9.8 million in energy assistance funds have been awarded to agencies throughout the state.

LIHEAP funds are provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Community Services. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs administers the grants.