In applications for household heating assistance, "we're exactly where we were last year," said Kim Hustad, Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency director of housing services.
As of Jan. 7 this year, AEOA
has processed 5,478 applications for heating aid for St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties, compared to 5,584 last year Jan. 7, so "we're only down by a hundred at this point," she
has 2,500 applications pending.The agency's home heating aid budget is about $4 million annually.
The economy is more of a factor than milder weather in the crisis program, where households have no heat, with 209 households contacting them so far this season, compared to only 77 at this time last season.
"If President Bush had not released those funds ($5 million statewide recently), we would have been out now," Hustad