From Illinois Business Journal news services
EDWARDSVILLE — Madison County has again obtained funding through the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development to assist low-income county residents with the cost of home energy bills.
“As winter approaches and temperatures drop, many less fortunate county residents citizens need assistance with heating their residences,” County Chairman Alan Dunstan said. “Although unemployment in Madison County has dropped to right at 5 percent, many of the people who benefit from this program, especially the elderly and children, are unable to work. For them, the support available through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program is essential.”
The program, designated as LIHEAP, assist low-income citizens by offsetting the rising cost of home energy. The program begins Oct. 1, with a special priority period that lasts through Oct. 31, for applicants with an elderly (age 60 or older) and/or disabled household member, and Madison County residents who may also be disconnected or under imminent threat of disconnection from their utilities.
Beginning Nov. 2, households with children under age 6 and households who are disconnected from their utilities may apply for enrollment in the program. All other households will be allowed to apply starting Dec. 1, 2015, through May 31, 2016. Once the LIHEAP funds are depleted no additional applications will be accepted, regardless of the date.
The Madison County Community Development Energy Assistance Office administers the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and can help residents with the application process.
Persons wishing to apply for enrollment in the energy assistance program contact the nearest Outreach Site in their area for an appointment.
The sites are (all 618 area code):
Madison County Energy (Edwardsville) — 296-6485
Riverbend Family Ministries – 251-9790
Granite City Housing Facility — 876-4232
Madison County Urban League (Alton) — 463-1906
Madison County Urban League (Madison) — 877-8860
Chouteau Township — 931-0323
Collinsville Township — 344-1290
Edwardsville Township– 656-0292
Fort Russell Township — 377-5660
Jarvis Township Senior Center (seniors only)- 667-2022
Highland Area Christian Ministry — 654-9295
Olive Township — 637-2630
Senior Services Plus — 465-3298
Venice Township — 452-1121
Persons applying for home energy assistance must provide proof of income from all household members for the 30-day period prior to the application date, proof of most recent energy bill(s) and proof of Social Security number(s) for all household members.
Applications for home energy assistance are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
All households that are interested in applying are encouraged to call and make an appointment as early as possible. Home energy assistance payments made to eligible households are approved on a one-time basis.
Income guidelines for this program are as follows (size of household and gross income for 30 days prior to application date:
10 $ 6,151
Residents with questions may contact the Madison County Community Development Energy Assistance at (618) 296-6485.