MaineHousing has funds available now that could help low income residents fill their oil tanks, as part of the CARES Act.

Summer starts this weekend, and it's kicking off with a humid and sticky heat wave that has everyone running for the air-conditioners, not the thermostat. No one wants to think about the winter cold and worrying over heating costs. But MaineHousing officials say now is the perfect time to consider filling that oil tank, so you'll have it when you need it.

WVII-TV reports $3 million dollars, from the federal CARES Act has been allocated to the Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. However, residents need to apply for it soon, because the deadline is July 15th. The average benefit is about $900 per household.

People who have never been eligible for the program before, may want to look at it now if they've lost income due to the pandemic. MaineHousing usually looks back at an applicant's past six-months-to-a-year of income to determine eligibility. But, because of the pandemic's affect on the state's economy, officials will be basing eligibility on a person's current income for the current month. That means a lot more residents could take advantage of this benefit. And, with heating oil prices low, this is a good time to think about filling the tank.

To apply, contact your local community action program.