city pagesNews

City Pages

Low-income Athens residents over the age of 65 can get help with their heating bills starting Nov. 1. The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, will be open to the general public on Dec. 3.

Clarke County residents can call 1-800-822-0179 to schedule an appointment to apply for the program, and Oconee County residents can call 706-424-2866. Appointments for Clarke County residents will be held at the Classic Center Nov. 26, 27 & 28 for the elderly and Dec. 17, 18 & 19 for the general public, according to Stormi Darnell, community resource coordinator for the nonprofit Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. Darnell said she will see Oconee County residents every Thursday at Campus View Church of Christ on South Lumpkin Street.

Applicants should bring verification of citizenship, such as a driver’s license or other state-issued ID; Social Security cards for all family members; proof of income, such as pay stubs or welfare documents, for all family members; and their most recent heating bill.

People who earn less than twice the poverty line are eligible for the program. The maximum monthly income to qualify is $1,749 for a single person; $2,287 for two people; $2,826 for a family of three; $3,364 for a family of four; $3,902 for a family of five; $4,440 for a family of six; and $4,541 for a family of seven.

LIHEAP pays $310 to $350 toward heating bills, whether gas or electric. Although this winter is expected to be mild, the money could go fast. Congress has appropriated $3.5 billion, the same amount as last year, but it’s down from $5.1 billion in 2010.