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Utility bill assistance available for low-income households

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At the start of November, low-income households will have the opportunity to get assistance with their utility bills.

Starting November 1, 2013 the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be available to low-income households in Rock Island, Mercer, and Henry Counties, according to a spokesperson from Project NOW Community Action Agency.

To be eligible for the program, the household must be at or below 150-percent of poverty.

LIHEAP customers will have two payment plan options, one of which is available to eligible customers of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, and Nicor Gas.

Jerry McKim, who oversees the LIHEAP in Iowa, said the program has enough money to get started this season but he is unsure of what is to come, according to a report by Radio Iowa.

“I would say this year, given sort of the political environment – of course that shutdown delayed things more – I’m a little more anxious this year than I think I’ve been in the past because usually we have a better handle on what to expect,” said McKim.

Radio Iowa reported that McKim is anticipating an award letter sometime in November. McKim said that if they do not receive an award letter they may have to shut down due to lack of funds to pay staff that takes applications.

Assistance will be available through May 31, 2013 or until there are no more funds.

To make an appointment call your local Project NOW office. The four locations are Rock Island – 309-793-6391, Henry County – 309-852-4565, Moline – 309-764-8092, and Mercer County – 309-582-2644.