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Idaho Closes Early Due to LIHEAP Funds Depletion

High demand for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has exhausted Idaho's allocation sooner than usual this winter, causing the program to close almost three weeks early, according to a statement released by Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

Families were no longer be able to apply for heating assistance through the program after the close of business March 12 and were advised to call 211 or go to www.idahocareline.org/  for information on other resources that may be available to those struggling to meet home energy or other needs.

"This year was an incredibly difficult year for tens of thousands of Idaho families,"  said Mary Chant, Community Action Partnership Association of Idaho executive chair. "We could have easily served twice as many as we did if more funding had been available."

Idaho received more than $17 million in LIHEAP funding this year and served an estimated 45,000 low-income Idaho households. Funding for the program was increased during the past two heating seasons to address a greater need due to a worsening economy.

In most years, the program extends through April 1 to help needy Idahoans during the coldest months. The program is designed particularly to assist those who pay a high proportion of their household income toward home energy. This heating season, households received an average of $355 in heating assistance.

Source: Idaho newspapers