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From the legislature HEAP can help with heating costs

— Attention seniors! Do you find it difficult to cover the cost of heating your home in the winter? Costs to heat our homes are constantly increasing. The good news is there is help, whether you are a senior citizen living on a fixed income or a single family on a budget, the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth oversees the Home Energy Assistance Program more commonly referred to as HEAP. HEAP is a federally-funded program that issues heating benefits to reduce a household’s annual energy cost. HEAP also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat related energy emergency. Additionally, HEAP offers a furnace repair and/or replacement benefit for households with inoperable heating equipment. The program may help you pay for: electricity, gas, oil, coal, propane, wood or kerosene. Even if your heat and utilities are included in your rent, HEAP may be able to assist you.

The HEAP program is administered locally by the Onondaga County Aging & Youth department. If you have questions about enrolling in the program or determining eligibility, you can contact the local HEAP unit at 435-2362. Additional information about HEAP and other programs is available at ongov.net. You can also check your potential eligibility for HEAP, and a wide range of economic supports at myBenefits.ny.gov.

Several informational meetings have been set up for the Northeast region of Onondaga County to discuss the HEAP program, determine eligibility, and register qualified recipients. The first meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 22, at the Cicero Senior Center, 5924 Lathrop Road. The second meeting will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26, at the United Church of Christ, 215 Blackberry Road, Liverpool. Two meetings are scheduled on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The first is from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Brewerton Methodist Church, 5395 Orangeport Road, and the second is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the Clay Town Hall on Route 31. The last scheduled meeting will be held from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, at the Salina Town Hall on School Road. If you are unable to make any of the aforementioned meetings, please contact the county legislature at 435-2070 for a list of additional meetings that are taking place around the county.

Second District Legislator John Dougherty, Fourth District Legislator Judy Tassone, Fifth District Legislator Kathy Rapp and 14th District Legislator Casey Jordan submitted this piece.

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