SD to receive weatherization assistance Gov. Mike Rounds has announced that more South Dakotans will soon be eligible for home weatherization assistance as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. South Dakota will receive more than $24 million from the economic stimulus package to help low-income families make their homes more energy efficient. The funding will be used to expand eligibility for the weatherization program and increase the amount of assistance for eligible households. "Weatherizing homes reduces energy bills all year, which will alleviate some of the financial strain on low-income families," Gov. Rounds said. "Expanding the weatherization program will both benefit South Dakota families and local economies." Beginning July 1, weatherization assistance will be available to families with monthly gross incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. For example, a family of four with an annual income up to $44,100 would qualify for assistance. Additionally, the maximum average benefit of $2,500 per household will increase to $6,500. Weatherization assistance may include weather-stripping door and windows; caulking and sealing cracks or holes in buildings; insulating attics, walls and under floors; repairing or replacing non-functional heating systems; and incidental repairs necessary to protect weatherization material. Weatherization services will be done across the state in specific counties served by four community action programs that plan to hire additional home auditors and increase the number of contractors completing the work. Priority will be given to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, families with children, and single-family dwellings. For more information on the weatherization program or to apply for assistance, contact the community action program below that serves your county. Applications are also available online at www.dss.sd.gov/weatherization. Rural Office of Community Service: 1-800-793-3290 Counties served: Aurora, Bon Homme, Brule, Buffalo, Charles Mix, Clay, Davison, Douglas, Gregory, Hanson, Hutchinson, Jerauld, Jones, Lincoln, Lyman, Mellette, Sanborn, Todd, Tripp, Turner, Union, Yankton.