Governor Robert Bentley on Friday awarded grants totaling $37.2 million to assist low-income families in Alabama with home energy bills. Due to the recent storms in Alabama, the Governor has fast tracked these grants in order for funds to be distributed immediately.
The grants will enable 22 community action agencies throughout the state to provide temporary emergency assistance with electric and gas bills. Priority for assistance is given to the elderly, people with disabilities and families with young children.
"High home heating bills during the winter can be very challenging for low-income families or elderly residents living on very limited budgets," Bentley said. "These grants will continue to provide needed assistance to residents with the greatest need."
Those seeking assistance must apply through their local community action agencies. Eligibility is based on income, family size and available resources. If applications are approved, payments are made directly to the utility companies on behalf of residents.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants as part of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The funding was made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"A cold winter can be especially harsh on those living on extremely limited incomes," ADECA Director Jim Byard Jr. said. "ADECA's partnerships with community action agencies throughout the state enables us to help those in need of assistance. I thank Governor Bentley for prioritizing these grants to help families impacted by the recent severe weather in our state."