As the cold New York winter approaches, Governo Kathy Hochul announced plans to help residents who might struggle with paying their heating bills. On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Gov. Hochul announced that $373 million in home heating aid is available for residents who meet certain income requirements. You can submit your application starting today, October 1 for the Home Energy Assistance Program through the New York Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

Governor Hochul spoke about how keeping warming during winters in New York can be a huge burden on families,

"For so many New Yorkers, the cost of heating during the cold weather season is a major expense that can really strain their household budget. The Home Energy Assistance Program is welcome relief for these individuals and families as winter beckons, ensuring they can heat their homes through the frigid months ahead."

If you are eligible for HEAP benefits, you may receive up to $751 in air, whether as a homeowner or renter. You will need to qualify based on income. You can apply with your local department of social services. The HEAP program is on a first-come, first-served basis, so it's important to get your application in now. You can find your local office here. You can also visit the Governor's website for more info.

Last spring, the state Legislature extended a moratorium that prevents utility companies from disconnecting utilities to residential households that are struggling with their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Utility companies must instead offer these individuals a deferred payment agreement on any past-due balance. The law extended the moratorium for 180 days after New York's state of emergency declaration ended in June. That means utility companies may resume residential disconnections for nonpayment starting in late December, making this season's assistance from HEAP is even more timely this year.

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LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.