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Heating Assistance Concerns
Changes in a federal fuel assistance program could put a chill on the number of families getting help this winter.
The new law means it is possible some may not qualify for the Federal Crisis Intervention Program, or "C.I.P".
That program makes it possible for Eblen Charities to help families out with heating oil assistance when temperatures drop in the fall.
Hundreds of people have stopped by their offices here to fill out applications. Federal regulations have added new requirements for families to qualify.
Now, to receive fuel deliveries to the home, families must have a disabled person, a child 6 or younger, or an adult 60 or older. That has led Eblen Charities to reject some families.
Other agencies are struggling with the same restriction and looking for other ways to help this winter.
Bill Murdock, Dir. Eblen Charities, "other agencies are working, Buncombe County DSS is doing an amazing job as we're trying to navigate through all these changes, and being able to see where else can we do, what else can we do as a community together for the folks who may not be eligible for this, but still keep warm this winter."
Murdock says with the federal government experiencing tough times, it appears the C.I.P administrators are aimed the federal money to those who are most vulnerable to developing health problems during cold weather.