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RRHA still dealing with heating problems; assistance available

Jeremy Lazarus | 2/8/2019, 6 a.m.
At least seven public housing units completely lost heat last week as a result of boiler problems, the Richmond Redevelopment ...

At least seven public housing units completely lost heat last week as a result of boiler problems, the Richmond Redevelopment and Authority reported Monday.

RRHA stated that five new families lost heat as arctic cold blasted the city and repairs still need to be made in units for two other families that previously had lost heat.

In addition, RRHA reported that 50 families had only partial heat in their units during the cold snap.

RRHA stated that it had distributed electric space heaters to help as it sought to restore heat.

Such families and others with heating problems might qualify for the heating crisis assistance program announced by the state Department of Social Services.

The crisis program is aimed at helping low-income individuals and families deal with heating emergencies, DSS stated.

Applications for heating help can be made by calling (855) 635-4370 or through the local departments of social services, DSS stated.

The assistance is based on income. For example, single people could qualify with an income of $1,316 or less a month, while a family of four could qualify with an income of $2,720 a month or less, according to DSS.

“Cold weather is relentless,” said Social Services Commissioner Duke Storen. “The crisis assistance program exists to help households who otherwise would not have the resources to keep warm.”

The program, Mr. Storen stated, “is aimed at helping people whose heating equipment has broken down, who lost heat for failure to pay a bill or who are facing the imminent cutoff of service.” — JEREMY M. LAZARUS