Reed Announces Liheap Funds for Western New York
The Administration for Children and Families has announced the release of $3.05 billion in LIHEAP block grants to states for the first quarter of FY2015. The funding was provided through the Continuing Resolution that funds the government until December 11th.
Earlier this year, the House-passed fiscal year 2014 consolidated appropriations bill which includes $3.4 billion in heating assistance and a significant boost to low-income families in cold weather states like New York. Reed advocated for a return to the original intent of the energy assistance program with his Low Income Heating Improvement Act designed to give financial assistance to states that need it most.
“The winter months bring rising energy costs that low income families and individuals often struggle to meet,” Congressman Reed said. “This boost in heating assistance ensures that New York families, in most need of help heating their homes, are treated fairly during the winter months.”
LIHEAP has become a general energy assistance program as opposed to its original mission to protect low income households that struggle most in cold weather states. The formula for allotting funds to states to administer LIHEAP benefits originally provided greater consideration for low income households facing cold weather conditions. Formula changes since the program’s inception in 1981 have shifted the focus to a general energy assistance program, diverting funds away from some of the coldest states in the country where there is the greatest need for heating assistance.
Reed introduced similar legislation during the 112th Congress with 15 co-sponsors and strong bipartisan support from the New York delegation. “It’s a common sense return to priorities that not only cares for families not able to afford their home energy bills, but a way of protecting hardworking taxpayer dollars by directing funding where there is greatest need.”
For more information click here: http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/