BISMARCK, North Dakota — North Dakota is getting $23 million to help low-income people heat their homes this winter, which is roughly what it has received from the federal government in recent years.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps eligible families pay for both home heating and weatherizing. The state Department of Human Services will get about $17 million and American Indian tribes will get about $6 million for the current heating season, which began Oct. 1 and runs through next May, according to the state's congressional delegation.
The amount should be enough to help every qualifying family this year, Carol Cartledge, who runs the program for Human Services, told the Minot Daily News.
To qualify, a household can earn up to 60 percent of the state median income. For a family of three, that's about $43,430 per year before taxes. Families with greater needs get more assistance than families who narrowly make the cut.
"This is one way we can assist some of the lower-income households," Cartledge said. "This is an awesome program."
The state helped more than 13,000 households last year, paying an average of $1,320 per family. About three-fourths of the cases were people who were elderly, disabled or had children under the age of 5 living in the home. The money goes directly to utility companies who service the homes.