With nearly 10 percent of Hoosiers utilizing propane for their residential heating, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority recently allocated an additional $5 million in funds to assist low-income families with their energy needs. The funds were released to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, to be funneled to local service providers who cover all 92 counties.
One of those providers is Community Services of Starke County, and executive director Joan Haugh said it was a necessary move to provide assistance.
“I think that it’s necessary because with the shortage of LP gas, the prices have almost doubled. For example, before, 200 gallons you could get for $600. Now it’s $1031 or $1081, and that is really putting a burden on the homeowners and people who use LP gas, so any additional monies put toward the program would be great because I know right here in Starke County, our funding for the energy program is almost depleted, so I’m very happy to see this. Hopefully this will help everyone,” Haugh said.
The state also increased the LIHEAP crisis benefit from $400 to $550 through March 31, 2014. Hoosiers who are at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty level (roughly $35,000 a year for a family of four) who are interested in the program can call LIHEAP at 1-800-872-0371 or the United Way at 211 for more information.