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Whether you rent or own, Cape-area heating assistance is available for those in need


Heating season is upon us, and for some, it’s a season of financial strain.

With the high cost of living on the Cape and Islands, it’s not unusual to see people struggle to pay their winter bills, said Hadley Luddy, CEO of the Homeless Prevention Council in Orleans.

“People are paying much higher than average market rate [for housing],” she said.

As a result, some people who need help with heating costs earn too much money for traditional heating assistance. A family of four is eligible for traditional heating assistance up to about $87,000 in annual household income.

“There are certainly situations where people aren't eligible for various programs,” Luddy said. “We work really hard to make sure that we have additional resources and supports to connect people with.”

The Homeless Prevention Council can sometimes provide support from private donations.

“Once we've exhausted any local resources that are available, we then tap into some of these unrestricted funds that are meant to … meet the needs of people who are over income, but clearly showing a significant need,” she said.

The Homeless Prevention Council serves mainly the Lower and Outer Cape.

To find an organization that handles heating assistance in your area, go to Mass.gov and search the words “heating assistance,” or click here and type your zip code.

“Reaching out to an organization like ours, or whatever appropriate organization is in the region where they're living, is a really important first step [to] find out if there are resources that can help to make their lives easier,” Luddy said.

Jennette Barnes is a reporter and producer. Named a Master Reporter by the New England Society of News Editors, she brings more than 20 years of news experience to CAI.