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Aroostook Community Matters - HEAP Wants You To Apply Early

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 12:56 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - As temperatures drop, home heating costs continue to rise..but there is a program that can help. On this week’s edition of Aroostook Community Matters, Maria Trivelpiece takes a look at The Home Energy Assistance Program.

They say preparation is key, but that statement becomes even more relevant when it’s time to apply for heating assistance.

“So everybody wants to do their application at the very beginning, in the fall, cause oh you know, we want to get ready for the winter and so there’s this glut,” said HEAP program coordinator, Erin Benson.

ACAP is required through Maine Housing to fit everyone in who they deem to be a priority into the first 90 days.

“If you’re never had an appointment, trying to get one in the fall, it’s not going to happen because all of those appointments are filled up by priority,” said Benson.

HEAP is available for all who qualify; so once you get your appointment, it’s important to get your paperwork in early.

“If they can just get us the application back then we can go from there and get anything that they’re missing,” said administrative specialist Averill Gardner.

Gardner said to apply earlier because the services last for 18 months.

“You may not need the heat in July, but if you get it then, it’s going to stay on your account,” she said. When it starts to get cold in September and October and November, you’re going to be ready.”

Not only does ACAP want people to plan ahead, they also want people to realize that it’s okay to ask for their services. They want to break the stigma.

“I think everyone, at some point in their life, or most people, have needed a hand up, for something or other,” said Benson.

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