Heating assistance program opens Oct. 1

The Heating Assistance Program (HAP) is designed to promote the general welfare and safeguard the health and well-being of Alaskans by​ offsetting the cost of home heating for eligible Alaskan residents. HAP assists households with income at or below 150 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines, who have a minimum of $200 in out-of-pocket heating costs per year, and meet all other eligibility criteria. The benefit is a one-time payment to the household’s vendor, sent to the vendor, and applied to the customer’s account as a credit. It is open to homeowners and renters.

Applications are available at Dept. of Public Assistance offices throughout the state, WIC offices, vendor locations, senior centers, and online at http://www.heatinghelp.alaska.gov beginning Oct. 1. You can also contact the Heating Assistance Office at 1-800-470-3058 or liheap@alaska.gov to have an application mailed to you. The last day to apply for heating assistance each year is April 30.

Benefits are issued beginning on Nov. 1. Applicants can call the state’s IVR Hotline after that date to find out if they are approved for a benefit, how much the benefit is, and which vendor it was sent to. One benefit is issued per “season”, which runs from Oct. 1 through April 30.

The program can also assist with deposits to establish service in subsidized rental buildings in which heat is included in the rent but the tenant pays for their own electric or gas for cooking. This component is known as the Subsidized Rental Housing Utility Deposit (SRHUD). Applications for the Subsidized Rental Housing Deposit are accepted year round.

Visit http://www.dhss.alaska.gov/dpa and select “Heating Assistance” from the “Program” column on the right side of the page for a list of approved vendors, income guidelines, FAQ and more.