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Local agency offering help on heating bills
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Ninth District Opportunity Heating Program
All interested applicants may contact Ninth District Opportunity beginning at 9 a.m. today. Call 770-534-8826, visit online or visit their office at 510 West Ave. in Gainesville to make an appointment.

As the mercury dips, heating bills soar, and more families are turning to a local nonprofit agency for help to keep their homes cozy this winter.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City is calling for temperatures to drop below freezing on Thursday and Friday nights, and Ninth District Opportunity is expecting shivering residents to pour in seeking funds to help pay their rising gas or power bills.

Ninth District Opportunity, a nonprofit community action agency, is offering federal funds to assist impoverished local residents in paying for heating costs. Amanda Buice, an assistant with the agency, said the heating program is accepting applications for funding from the general population throughout December. She said the agency accepted applications from people older than age 65 in November.

Buice said the agency provides a one-time check of $310 to $350 per family, depending on the number of people living in the household.

Ninth District Opportunity helped thousands of families last winter to obtain money to offset heating costs, and even more families are asking for help this year, she said.

“We’ve had a whole lot more this year,” Buice said. “We’ve seen a lot of new clients this year.”

Residents must make an appointment to meet with Ninth District Opportunity. Applicants must bring to the meeting verification of all household income received within the past 30 days, verification of Social Security numbers for everyone in the home and the most recent home heating bill. Check stubs, public assistance checks or unemployment checks are examples of household income verification.

An applicant with a household income of up to $66,851 providing for 16 people is eligible, Buice said.

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