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An EJ Thompson and Son employee inspects a heating unit.

BOONE COUNTY — EnAct Community Action, located in Charleston, is currently accepting applications for the “Repair or Replace” program, formerly known as the “No Heat Emergency Program” (NHEP) in Boone, Clay, and parts of Kanawha and lower Fayette counties in West Virginia.

Director John Pottorff said the program assists a wide variety of people and he’d like to see Boone County take advantage of it.

“We haven’t had the response in Boone that we had hoped for,” he said. “People who are good candidates for this are the elderly, disabled and low income in general.”

Funding comes via a Community Services Block Grant, administered by DHHR of West Virginia. Pottorff said there is approximately $600,000 available for services in Boone and Clay counties alone.

“We expect to serve 60-70 families and we served in excess of 60 last year,” he said. “With many people, their heating systems are so old or even non-existent and they have to be replaced, so we don’t have the opportunity to repair very often.”

Recipients must be home owners or in the process of ownership, with a maximum income of $1,884 per month for a single person; the maximum income for a family of three would be $3,043 per month.

According to its web site, the ROR program aids households at or below 150% of the federal poverty income guidelines who are in need of emergency heat, which includes the repair or replacement of malfunctioning or non-operable heating units. The home must have one of the following criteria to receive services:

  • Has a non-operable or severely malfunctioning and/or unsafe heating system potentially endangering the household’s health and/or well-being.
  • Is using portable heating devices such as, but not limited to, electric and kerosene space heaters as a primary source of heat.
  • Is using unvented gas/propane space heaters as a primary source of heat.
  • Is using an unsafe fireplace or solid fuel.
  • Has a fireplace or stove, but does not have access to, or the means to purchase solid fuel.
  • Is using any type of gas-fired cooking appliance as a heating source.

Deputy Director Janetta Paxton said that, while she is new to the program, she is excited to be working on it.

“We know there are families out there who need help and we encourage them to contact us so we can help them,” she said. “We encourage people to call with questions.”

If the dwelling has been previously weatherized and the furnace has quit working after the warranty period, the home is still eligible for ROR services. Central air-conditioning that is part of the heating system may also be covered.

To apply for the Repair or Replace program, please contact John Pottorff or Tyler Dorsey at EnAct Community Action’s office at 304-414-4475 or pick up an application at the Boone County Community Organization offices at 1 Human Svc Place Kenmore or by calling (304) 369-0451 for more information.

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or at 304-307-2401.