Posted: Wednesday, 26 January 2011 10:55AM

New Applications Up Locally For Heating Assistance

MANKATO – More new faces are applying locally this year seeking help paying their home heating bills.
Minnesota Valley Action Council’s Judd Schultz says the low-income energy assistance program has 700 to 800 applications from “people we’ve never seen before.”
$7 million federal dollars were added this week to the $143 million dollars already received in Minnesota for this heating season. That’s close to the $160 million received last year.
While it’s less than last year, it’s better than the 47 percent funding cut the program faced at the start of the season.
“We’ll be able to serve at least as many people as last year,” said Schultz.
Last year the MVAC provided heating assistance to around 7,000 homes in the Region 9 area. This year about 5,600 homes have received help totaling $2.6 million dollars.
Schultz says help for another 600 people is pending as their applications are reviewed and more information is gathered.

Even with the pending applications, Schultz says they are “actively looking for applicants.”
“We have about 1,900 people that applied for assistance last year that didn’t apply this year,” says Schultz.
Schultz has reached out to those people through direct mail.
“People should really apply. There is money.”
The average grant locally is $473.
“A lot of people came to us at the start of the season still behind from last year,” said Schultz.
“As far as our nine county area there’s still lot of people hurting.”

ON THE WEB: MVAC Energy Assistance Program

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Filed Under :  
Topics : Energy Assistance ProgramMinnesota Valley Action Counci
Locations : Mankato
People : Judd Schultz