Heating assistance still available

MARQUETTE – The Alger-Marquette Community Action Board still has funding available to help low-income area residents pay for deliverable fuels, including propane, oil and wood.

“We want to make sure that we reach as many eligible residents as we can,” said Earl Hawn Jr., AMCAB executive director. “We are here to help.”

In March, the Michigan Community Action Agency Association announced an additional $11 million had been allocated statewide, distributed through more than two dozen community action agencies, including AMCAB, via the Michigan Department of Human Services and the Bureau of Community Action and Economic Opportunity.

AMCAB received $350,000 in the state funds, which can be used to pay for deliverable fuels including wood, propane, oil, pellets and kerosene.

To qualify for heating assistance, individuals and families need to meet state income eligibility requirements. The qualifying benchmark is a household income at 60 percent of the state’s median income.

Hawn said the money AMCAB received from the state could assist roughly 300 families.

“I believe we’ve helped just short of 200 right now,” Hawn said today.

This winter’s extreme cold conditions have left many area residents struggling to pay higher utility and fuel bills.

Hawn said the last day funds will be available, if not depleted sooner, is Aug. 31.

The Michigan Community Action Agency Association said $7 million of the $11 million allocated statewide came from the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, with the remaining $4 million from state funds.

Those seeking the low-income heating assistance funding should call the AMCAB office in Marquette to schedule an appointment. Information will be provided on what information callers will need to bring to the session. Call 228-6522 or 1-800-562-9762.