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Local LIHEAP Funding Will Likely Last for Another Month

The funding for Jefferson County’s low-income heating assistance program is expected to last for another month, but the unseasonably mild weather has reduced demand for aid.The crisis phase of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, began on January 4. The program uses federal money to pay bills for low-income residents who are facing utility cutoffs.Debbie Belt of Louisville’s Community Services and Revitalization Program says she’s seen about 8,000 people seeking assistance so far. But that’s about 300 more than this time last year.“So that was kind of surprising, that we’ve seen about 300 people more, but the funds we’ve expended have been less than last year,” Belt said. “So that’s telling us that the bills are not as big as they were last year.”That’s good news for a program that had about 20 percent of its budget cut earlier this year. Belt expects the funding will last until close to March 31, when this phase of the program ends. LIHEAP is still accepting applications for assistance.