Help with heating bill in Boston.

During the cold Massachusetts winter many families struggle with paying their heating bills. Thousands of Boston families face disconnection or may experience difficulties in staying warm. The city and Suffolk County region is supported by dozens of assistance programs, non-profit agencies, and other resources.

Seniors may receive 0% loans for paying for home repairs, in particular those associated with heating or cooling equipment. The Senior Home Repair program offers zero percent interest deferred loans. It is provided for people who are age 62 or older. Applicants also need to meet established low income levels that are based on standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

While the program is fairly flexible in what can be paid for, in general it will pay for repairs or improvements such as repairing or replacing a roof, fixing a clogged drain, additional insulation, repair of window cords, replacing a leaky faucet, new windows, or to fix or replace a porch.

There are several agencies around Boston to apply at for the Senior Home Repair program. The locations are below.

Ecumenical Social Action Committee (ESAC) serves the regions of Allston-Brighton, Jamaica Plain, West Roxbury, Hyde Park, Mattapan, and Roslindale. Location is 3313 Washington Street Jamaica Plain, MA 02130. Phone 617.524.4820.

Kit Clark Senior Center serves the Dorchester region and south Boston. 1500 Dorchester Avenue, Dorchester, Massachusetts 02122. Telephone number is 617.533.9141. Other towns in Suffolk County include Charlestown, East Boston North End, and West End

Neighborhood of Affordable Housing (NOAH) is located at 143 Border Street, East Boston, Massachusetts 02128 , call 617.418.8265. This non-profit center serves Back Bay, South End, Fenway, and Roxbury.

South End Settlements (USES) is another non-profit agency. Main address is 566 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA 02118. Call 617.375.8163




HeatWorks is another conservation type resources. The non-profit Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) works with utility companies such as Keyspan Energy Corporation to offer assistance including replacement of broken heating system and weatherization. This is offered for homeowners who are age 60 and older. Call 617-635-0338 for details.

The Massachusetts Good Neighbor Energy Fund is available to low income families in Suffolk County. It is a fund of last resort and can help people who have no other options available to them, including state or federal government assistance programs. The agency that runs this program is the Salvation Army. Call 1-800-334-3047 to apply or find a location near you.

Joe-4-Oil provides limited amounts of free heating oil to struggling and senior families in Massachusetts. It is offered if someone has run out of fuel. Call (877) 563-4645

The American Legion may provide temporary financial assistance. It will provide cash grants to minor children of veterans who are eligible for membership in the American Legion. The financial assistance may help families in need meet the cost of paying their utilities cooling and heating bills, and food. (317) 630-1323

Sarah A.W. Devens Trust is for elderly women age 75+ who have a very low income. It can provide people financial assistance once in a lifetime for a variety of issues. The program is run from an office at 50 Congress Street Suite 1025, Boston, MA. Telephone (617) 227-1782

Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, Inc. can provide heating bill assistance to needy Native American families and individuals through the winter season and on an emergency basis. Telephone:(617) 642-1683

Howard Benevolent Society may offer heating oil for elderly Boston residents who are not eligible for LIHEAP and are over income limits. (617) 742-2952

Department of Housing and Community Development also process applications for the federal government LIHEAP/Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. They partner with local agencies across Boston and Suffolk County Massachusetts to provide cash grants to the needy. (800) 632-8175

Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. (ABCD) is the leading non-profit community action agency for Suffolk County and the city of Boston. The agency processes a number of financial assistance and conservation programs. They are listed below.





The NSTAR Conservation Action Program (NCAP) is offered through a partnership with energy companies including NSTAR. It will help people reduce their monthly electric and heating bills with a focus on energy efficient appliances. Clients will receive water conservation materials and energy efficient light bulbs. New freezers or refrigerators may be offered too.

Utility Bill Advocacy services can assist people with overdue utility bills and who need help in working with your utility company or heating provider. Staff from Action for Boston Community Development will work with you to ensure that a fair payment plan is designed, negotiate debt forgiveness on your behalf, and enter into any available assistance programs.

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), also known as Fuel Assistance in Massachusetts, is run from the location.

HEARTWAP/Heating System Repairs and Replacement program offers free or low cost heating systems tune-ups, burners, repairs and system replacements to households in need. Funds to pay for the repairs of heating systems in emergency no-heat situations are possible for qualified homeowners. While more limited, replacement of heating systems are also considered for broken or inefficient boilers or furnaces.

Weatherization Assistance Program helps make senior and low-income households more energy efficient in order to save money. Clients have been known to save 25% on their heating bills.

Action for Boston Community Development, Inc. adsminsters those resources listed above. Their offices are at the following locations.




  • 565 Washington Street, Brighton, Massachusetts, 02135, telephone number (617) 903-3640
  • 20 Linden Street Suite 230, Allston, MA, 02134, (617) 202-5904
  • 19 Corinth Street, Roslindale, MA, 02131, (617) 327-1152
  • 178 Tremont Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02111, dial (617) 348-6263 Ext: 251
  • 110 Claybourne Street, Dorchester, MA, 02124, (617) 288-2700
  • 21 Meridian Street, Boston, Massachusetts, 02128, (617) 567-8857
  • 22 Elm Hill Avenue, Boston, MA, 02121, (617) 442-5900
  • 295 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130, (617) 522-4830
  • 23A Moulton Street, Charlestown, Massachusetts, 02129, (617) 241-8866
  • One Michelangelo Street, Boston, MA, 02113, (phone 617) 523-8125
  • 714 Parker Street, Boston, MA, 02120, (617) 445-6000
  • 424 West Broadway, South Boston, MA, 02127, (617) 269-5160
  • 554 Columbus Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts, 02118, call (617) 267-7400


By Jon McNamara

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