10:47am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Crisis Phase of Heating Assistance Program Begins

The crisis phase of the Low Income Heating Assistance Program begins tomorrow. This is the second and final phase of LIHEAP. Residents must be in danger of having their utilities cut off in order to receive assistance. The city began scheduling early appointments for assistance last week and those will continue tomorrow at government centers.

The LHEAP program lasts until March 31, or until the federal grant funding runs out. Debbie Belt with the Department of Community Services and Revitalization says most applications are filed after the first payments are made.

“Right now, maybe folks aren’t in that situation, but as the winter months go and the heating costs rise, sometimes people do find themselves in that situation,” she says.

Congress has not yet allocated money for LIHEAP’s crisis phase this year. Last year, Louisville received four million dollars, which was enough to help 14,000 residents. Belt expects the allocation to be cut by 20 percent. She does not expect demand to shrink.