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New Help for Low Income Families

What do you do if your family is low income, but you earn just over the income cutoff for getting help from the Federal Home Energy Assistance Program, HEAP?

Up til now you might not have received any help because your income was above 175% of the federal poverty level.

But now, there is a new pool of money. It's to help families making between 175% and 200% of the poverty guideline. For a family of four, that goes as high as $42,400.

The consumer advocacy agency, the Consumers' Councel Office is publicizing the program. The agency says the money is now available because the council hammered out an agreement with utility regulators and Columbia Gas, to steer refunds from an interstate gas supplier to this niche of low income households that did not qualify for federal aid.

Local community action agencies are handing out that $2.1 million in aid, and they're the ones taking applications.