Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 9, 2013

Demand high in heating program

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — The need for assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program was strong on the first day funds were made available in Boyd, Carter, Elliott, Greenup and Lawrence counties this week, according to David Carroll, executive director of Northeast Kentucky Community Action.

“Right now, we’ve probably got enough money to last us this week,” Carroll said Tuesday afternoon, adding he has been informed more funds might become available in the future to help pay winter heating bills for low-income residents.

On the first day of the LIHEAP application process, Carroll said Carter County was at the top of the list, serving 664 through two offices with about $192,000.

In Boyd County, Carroll said 211 received $47,900, while the office in Greenup worked with 179 to distribute $56,000. In Elliott County, 213 applied and received $68,700, and 131 Lawrence County residents were granted $41,400, Carroll reported.

Carroll said it is apparent many families remain in economic hardship conditions, with this year’s so-far mild winter offering no real breaks on utility costs.

“With electric rates up, it now takes more money for less,” he said.

Carroll said first-time LIHEAP applicants should call their local NKCA office to determine what documents and other information they will need to seek funds.

“It is on a first-come, first-served basis,” he said.

For more information about LIHEAP, call one of the NKCA offices or the central office at (606) 286-4443.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com.