ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) Starting today, New York homeowners can apply for assistance fixing or replacing the furnace in their homes.

New York Senators recently announced millions of dollars in federal funding for the Home Energy Assistance Program.  While the amount is a decrease from previous years, low-income families are still encouraged to apply for assistance heating their homes this winter.  Starting Monday November 10th, eligible homeowners could apply for the furnace repair and replacement program.  This program requires the applicant be a homeowner, not a renter, and meet the income guidelines. There are a few other requirements to be eligible. Chemung County H.E.A.P. coordinator Donna Truax said, “The furnace repair and replacement program does require an application to be filled out and a face-to-face interview in order to be qualified for that.”

Regular H.E.A.P. applications will start being collected Monday, November 17th.  Renters can qualify for this program if their household income meets requirements. The emergency H.E.A.P. applications will start on January 2nd, 2015.  Early outreach applications, like to residents who had H.E.A.P. last year, have already been sent out, and if returned they’ve been processed.  Those resident do not need to apply again.  All of the programs end in mid-March next year.  

Because the federal funds were cut this year, the maximum regular benefit has also been decreased.  Most people can expect to see around a $50 decrease in their benefit from last year.  A family of four with up to a $50,628 annual household income would qualify for the one-time maximum benefit.  

To apply for the programs, you can head here.