The waiting list for a federal program that helps people pay utility bills opens Monday in Lane County. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Lane County is still waiting for the federal government to release funds for LIHEAP. It offers one-time help during the winter months with heating bills. Those who qualify must make at or below 60 percent of Oregon's median income level.
Mary Ellen Bennett is LIHEAP Coordinator in Lane County.
"We don't receive enough funding to serve all of the households in Lane County that qualify. So it is first come, first serve. But we manage our waiting list so that our intention is to not place more folks on the list than we can afford to serve with the funding that we have."
Bennett says the waiting list for LIHEAP will be reopened periodically over the winter. Individual utilities including EWEB and Northwest Natural Gas offer their own assistance programs too.