Heating Assistance Programs Available

By: Sarah Batista
By: Sarah Batista

October 31, 2005

With natural gas prices up, heating costs are expected to rise at least 50 percent this year. Fortunately, there are some local and state programs that can help pay your heating bill.

The deadline for the state's heating assistance program is Monday, November 14 and already there's been an increase in calls. So now is the time for folks to get those applications in.

To be eligible for that program, you must meet income restrictions. If you?re over the limit and still need help, than you can apply for the local gas assistance program. Each year, the program helps about 300 people in Charlottesville and Albemarle County pay their heating bills. Applicants can receive up to $400 per heating season and most of that money comes from donations.

"This could be a very difficult winter for the neediest in our community and I hope people in the community will figure out ways that they can help address this problem," said Charlottesville Mayor David Brown.

You can apply for the state assistance program through social services by Nov. 14. There is no deadline for the local program but assistance is handled on a first-come first-serve basis, so if you think you'll need help, but sure to get those applications in early.

If you'd like to donate or apply for assistance, call the gas assistance number at 434-970-3222.

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