The Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced today that, in conjunction with the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing), it will make available $3 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to the Maine Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). This additional TANF block grant funding will help low-income families with children cover the cost of fuel this winter, which may be particularly needed in the wake of storms such as the one Maine experienced a few days ago.

“This program provides critical, short term financial assistance to the most vulnerable in our communities,” according to Dan Brennan, MaineHousing’s Director. “Nearly 28,000 Maine households receive assistance with paying their fuel bills each heating season. In many cases, this assistance is the difference between heating and eating or other vital necessities.”

HEAP is a federally funded program, administered by MaineHousing, which assists families with energy costs and targets Maine homeowners and renters earning below $18,210 a year for an individual and $37,650 a year for a family of four. Eligible families receive an average of $918 in assistance. The benefit, in most cases, is paid directly to their fuel supplier. This transfer of funds was directed by the legislature in the last biennial budget.

“During the remaining cold months, this funding can help families across Maine cover the cost of fuel,” said DHHS Commissioner Jeanne M. Lambrew. “We urge you to check out this program to see if are eligible for assistance today.”

Please contact your local Community Action Agency at 973-3500 to apply today.

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