Heating grants for low-income families to increase

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Cash grants that are expected to help 600,000 low-income families pay their winter heating bills in Pennsylvania are being increased.

Gov. Ed Rendell said today that the grants provided through the federally funded LIHEAP program are being increased by $100 to an average of $326 for the current season.

He says this year's program also is being extended by nearly three weeks to April 2.

At a Capitol news conference, Mr. Rendell credited the changes to efficient management of the program.

Mr. Rendell said that if Congress releases additional contingency funds for the program, the state could increase grants for the most vulnerable households, including senior citizens, young children and people with disabilities.

Allegheny County opened its LIHEAP application center yesterday in the Human Services Building at 1 Smithfield St., Downtown. A second center opens Monday at the Allegheny Valley Association of Churches, 1913 Freeport Road in the Natrona Heights area of Harrison.

For more information, call 1-800-851-3838 or visit the Utility Assistance page on the Department of Human Services Web site.



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