13 Jul 2012

More households to get winter heating grant

8:40 am on 13 July 2012

Thousands more Christchurch households are now eligible for Red Cross grants to help with home heating.

The Winter Assistance Grant was last year offered to the elderly, the young or the sick.

This year, all those whose homes were significantly damaged by the earthquakes or who have been forced to move into damp or hard to heat accommodation will qualify.

The grant of $100 a month is paid directly to power companies and runs from June to September.

Red Cross Earthquake Commission chairman Sir John Hansen says the grant aims to help the many people in cold houses in Christchurch who are struggling to pay their power bills.

Sir John says the Red Cross approved 3651 Winter Assistance Grants last year, at a cost of $1.45 million.

He expects about 19,000 people will be helped this year at a cost of $7.5 million.