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LIHEAP program has nearly $350,000 to grant for energy assistance to homes in Yamhill County

Families facing a cold winter could receive some assistance in paying their heating bills through a program administered by Health & Human Services in conjunction with Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP).

Officials at the agency announced last week that the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will have upwards of $349,816 in energy bill payment assistance this year.

The agency estimates more than 1,050 households will receive assistance with electricity, propane, natural gas, heating oil, wood pellets or firewood. In 2016, nearly 1,160 households in the county received an average $357 payment. The grants can also be used for emergency heating system repairs or replacement for situations meeting program eligibility requirements.

In early December, HHS began accepting requests and referrals from the general public and creating a waiting list following a two-month period where more than 500 senior and disabled households were prescreened. On a weekly basis, according to a press release, the department continues to select a number of potential applicants from the list and mails them an application packet. Noting that there are deadlines for families to respond, those seeking assistance should call YCAP at 503-687-1480.

Guidelines for participation are established by the federal government and are based on the total pre-tax income of the family. The monthly income limit for a single person is $1,924, while a two-person home can make up to $2,515 a month. A three-person family is limited to $3,109, a four-person family $3,701 and a five-person family $4,293. Six-person families are limited to $4,885 a month in income, while a seven-person family can make up to $4,996.

Applicants for the program may be referred by other social service agencies or can complete a LIHEAP application themselves. The applications can be processed through the mail. For more information, call the Energy Assistance Hotline at 503-472-0457 or 1-855-216-5289, ext. 1480.

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