|Get help paying heat bills|
|Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer|
|Saturday, 11 January 2014 09:02|
Officials at WSOS, a community action agency, are confident they will have enough money to meet the needs of those people requiring help paying heating bills.
Brian Taylor, a basic needs specialist, said there is a limit on funding from the emergency and regular Home Energy Assistance Program. But he said even with an increase in demand "there's no concern as of right now" with funding running short.
"I think we'll be OK. We've been able to budget pretty well and forecast what we'll need every year."
WSOS serves four Northwest Ohio counties, including Wood County.
The agency offers two kinds of help. There's the regular one-time grant that can go toward paying for whatever the source of heat is. The amounts vary according to source, from a low of $175 for regulated utilities to $750 for those who use propane and have less than a 10-day supply left in their tanks. Then there's emergency aid which is for those with less than a 10-day supply of wood or propane or who have received a shut-off notice from their utility.
Those seeking emergency HEAP aid must schedule an office appointment. To apply and make an appointment call 1-888-441-4327. Regular HEAP assistance can online or by mail, or in person. The HEAP program continues through March 31.
The local office is at the Jordan Center, 812 N. College Drive, Bowling Green.
Taylor said that will the cold weather early this year, he expects demand for the two heating assistance programs to increase. "We've seen an increase in calls." Through November and December it was steady.
The agency can assist up to 6,000 households during a winter. The agency reported in November 142 households in Wood County received $37,960 in assistance.
Taylor said that the agency tried to accommodate those who had appointments to apply for emergency assistance early this week when the WSOS offices were closed because of the weather, allowing them to walk in for help.
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