skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

FirstEnergy first to abandon interim clean-energy goals for addressing climate change; the body of an 11-year-old Texas girl who disappeared on her way to school has been found in a river; and Indiana youth reported to be making progress despite challenges.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The U.S. rejects a U.N. resolution on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, but proposes a different one. Some Democrats vote against Biden to protest his policy on Gaza and a California woman is being held in Russia.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

Home heating aid program in MA keeps families safe, warm

play audio
Play

Monday, October 30, 2023   

Winter is coming, and the annual statewide campaign to inform Massachusetts residents about available heating assistance is underway.

Advocates for the program said the eligibility requirements are broad to ensure no family has to make the decision between keeping their house warm or covering other basic needs.

Jeanne Costa, a resident of New Bedford, said heating assistance allowed her elderly mother to remain in her home as she aged.

"They should know that there isn't any shame attached to attaining a helping hand up," Costa urged. "Which shouldn't be confused with a helping hand out."

Renters and homeowners making less than 60% of the state median income to address home energy costs are eligible, which includes a family of four making just over $87,000. Applications are currently being accepted online.

While some energy prices are dropping, public safety officials worry families unable to afford their heating bill will use more dangerous methods to stay warm.

Jon Davine, state fire marshal, said the heating aid program helps families avoid those decisions, and keep both them and his firefighters safe.

"It doesn't just help folks save money, it actually helps save lives," Davine contended.

Davine noted home heating equipment is the main source of carbon monoxide and the second leading cause of residential fires in Massachusetts.

Once households apply for heating assistance, they will automatically be enrolled in other energy-efficiency cost-saving programs.

Joe Diamond, executive director of the Massachusetts Association for Community Action, a coalition of more than twenty community action agencies throughout the Commonwealth, credits lawmakers for ensuring heating and energy help is available for the most vulnerable families.

"It's a powerful program," Diamond outlined. "It's an economic support program. It's a health and safety program. It's a housing preservation program."

Diamond pointed out studies show expanding heating assistance to more households with young children benefits children's health and growth.

Disclosure: The Massachusetts Association for Community Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Housing/Homelessness, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Poverty Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
The lands under consideration for the Sáttítla National Monument in the Medicine Lake Highlands are currently managed by the U.S. Forest Service. (Bob Wick)

Environment

play sound

Tribes in far northeastern California are pressing President Joe Biden to create a new national monument about 30 miles from Mount Shasta. The Pit …


Social Issues

play sound

Every state has been screening newborns for several decades, usually performing a heel-prick blood test, a hearing test and a heart check. Several …

Social Issues

play sound

Maine could become the first state in the nation to provide public funding to candidates seeking the office of district attorney. Lawmakers are …


Salmon populations have dwindled in the Northwest, hurting the orcas that rely on them for food. (Stanislav/Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has decided to list Southern Resident orcas as an endangered species. With it comes guidelines for how the …

Social Issues

play sound

Student loan borrowers of all ages in Nevada and around the country have an opportunity to have their student loans canceled or the chance to receive …

Automotive manufacturer Ford estimates it will create 2,500 new American jobs through its EV production plant in Marshall. (sofirinaja/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Early voting for primaries in Michigan began this weekend. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., in a change from Democratic support, urged voters to block …

Health and Wellness

play sound

February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and young people often find it hard to navigate experiences of harm…

Environment

play sound

Indiana climate leaders gathered this month to share knowledge and create strategies to address the effects of climate change. Together, they are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021