WILTON – Roughly 60 households will be having a warmer winter this year due to a significant USDA Rural Development grant that was recently awarded to Western Maine Community Action. Housing Director Bill Crandall said the grant is roughly five times the amount they typically receive.“We were pretty tickled to find out. I think it’s very reflective of the work that Western Maine Community Action has done, and is doing, in Franklin County,” Crandall said.The $106,837 “Housing Preservation Grant” will assist with a number of projects for the estimated 60 homes in Franklin County. The funding must be used within one year, but Crandall said he doesn’t anticipate that being a challenge.“The quicker we can invest into the community, the quicker those home owners have the savings that essentially goes right back into the local economy,” Crandall said.The majority of the funds will be used on repairs that will help homes qualify for weatherization projects. In the past, WMCA has seen households save roughly 30 to 40 percent on energy costs. For people on fixed incomes, particularly seniors, that savings can be huge, Crandall said.Other home repair projects include health and safety issues- such as exposed fiber glass, or inadequate fire safety measures- and making homes more accessible for their owners. Crandall said WMCA has seen an increased request for wheelchair-accessible ramps into homes in recent years.“People are just trying to keep up with taxes, and keep food on their tables…this is one way we can help,” he said.