Applications for the new Housing Expense Relief program for Fairfax County residents are now being accepted in the Office of Assessments.

The program is designed to provide financial assistance to homeowners or renters who are 55 to 64 years old and to homeowners or renters with minor children living at home.

To qualify for the program, an applicant may have a gross income from all sources of more than $10,000 annually excluding the first $4,000 of income of each relative other than the spouse living in the household. The combined financial net worth of the applicant and spouse living in the household may not exceed $35,000, excluding the value of the residence, if owned, and up to one acre of land around it.

The actual grant amount will be based on a formula derived from family income (with further deductions of $750 per minor child under 18 years old living with the applicant) and the annual rent paid. In the case of homeowners, an annual rent equivalent will be developed.

The filing deadline is Dec. 31, but the county urges residents to apply as soon as possible.

Applications forms will be accepted and assistance is available on the third floor of the Massey Building and the Branch Assessment Offices at: 6121 Franconia Rd., Franconia: 6210 North Kings Highway. Groveton: 6507 Columbia Pike. Annandale: 1437 Balls Hill Rd., McLean: 11415 Issac Newton Square, South. Reston: and 6140 Rolling Rd., Springfield. Forms are available at those locations and in county public libraries. Call 691-2437 for information.