Senator Ross Announces Heating Assistance Opportunities
Senator Richard Ross would like to make his constituents aware of three energy programs that provide fuel assistance, offered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
Senator Richard J. Ross (R-Wrentham) would like to inform his constituents of three energy programs that provide fuel assistance, offered by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and Heating Emergency Assistance Retrofit Task Weatherization Assistance Program (HEARTWAP) are currently available for eligible Massachusetts residents.
“In Massachusetts, we are no strangers to cold winters,” said Senator Ross. “These programs provide vital assistance to families in need. It is my hope that they will ease the burden on so many during these difficult winter months.”
LIHEAP, currently in its 35th year, provides assistance to eligible households for winter heating bills. The program provides fixed amounts based on the household’s income and size, with additional benefits available to households with high energy burdens. Once a household is declared eligible, the local administering agency will make payments toward the household’s heating bills directly to the primary heat source vendor. Special provisions are available for those households whose heat is included in their rent, as well as for those living in subsidized housing. To be eligible, household income should be up to 60% of the estimated State Median Income.
The WAP program, which operates year round, provides home energy efficiency services to low-income households in an effort to lower heating costs. Selected households will be inspected by a MA Weatherization Certified Energy Auditor and receive home improvements at no cost. Common improvements include air sealing, attic and/or sidewall insulation, weather stripping and other minor weatherization repairs. Household eligibility is based on eligibility for the LIHEAP Program, and households with a member receiving TANF or SSI are categorically eligible. Because of limited funding, households with members who are elderly, disabled, children under 7, and Native Americans, as well as households with extremely high energy bills are given priority.
Heating system repair and replacement services are provided to low-income households through the HEARTWAP program. While the program operates year round, during the winter months it serves mainly as an emergency intervention service for low-income households whose primary heating system is malfunctioning. Replacements will be provided for unsafe, inoperable and irreparable heating systems. Program eligibility for HEARTWAP is also based on household eligibility for the current year’s LIHEAP program.
For more information on these programs, including eligibility determinations, residents should contact their local energy assistance agency. Residents may also contact DHCD’s Heat Line at 1-800-632-8175. Listed below is the contact information for the two agencies serving Senator Ross’ district.
Serving Attleboro, Franklin, Needham, Norfolk, North Attleboro, Plainville and Wrentham:
Self Help, Inc. (SHI)
1362 Main Street
Brockton, MA 02301
(508) 226-4192 (Attleboro)
1-800-225-0875 (Toll Free)