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Applications open for LIHEAP utility assistance

Adrienne Zaiger shows her gas bill for her Cedar Rapids apartment showing the financial assistance recieved from Liheap. Taken on 02/09/11. (Gazette File Photo)
Adrienne Zaiger shows her gas bill for her Cedar Rapids apartment showing the financial assistance recieved from Liheap. Taken on 02/09/11. (Gazette File Photo)

The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, opened on Friday to applicants and will run through April 30 on a first-come, first-served basis.

The program, which helps low-income families struggling with energy costs, is available for customers with all utilities in Iowa, including MidAmerican Energy and Alliant Energy.

“LIHEAP funds help our low-income customers manage their winter heating bills,” said Mike Gehringer, MidAmerican’s vice president of customer operations, in a news release. “Any customer who is having financial challenges should contact us to discuss our budget billing program and other payment options.”

In Iowa, community action agencies issue block grant funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, taking into consideration a household’s income and size, type of primary heating fuel and housing type.

To be eligible for assistance, state residents must be at or below 175 percent of 2019 federal poverty lines — an annual gross income at or below $21,858 for a single-person household, or at or below $45,063 for a family of four.

The Iowa Department of Human Rights lists the community action agencies that handle LIHEAP applications for each of the state’s counties at humanrights.iowa.gov/dcaa/where-apply.

Comments: (319) 398-8366; thomas.friestad@thegazette.com

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