PROVIDENCE, RI – U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) today announced that the Obama Administration is releasing $3.1 billion in low-income heating assistance funds under the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution. Under this release, Rhode Island will receive $22.8 million.
Earlier this year, Senators Reed and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) led the bipartisan effort to include language in the current continuing resolution that specifies that the Obama Administration shall allocate federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding at the Fiscal Year 2012 level of $3.47 billion. Without the Reed-Snowe language, the program could have been reduced to as little as $2.82 billion during the winter months.
“I am pleased the Obama Administration is releasing this vital heating assistance. LIHEAP helps families in need deal with heating and financial challenges during the cold winter months. With winter approaching it is critical to speed this assistance to seniors and low-income families in time to help with their heating bills,” said Reed, noting that last year, Rhode Island received $23.2 million in LIHEAP funding, which helped approximately 32,000 households throughout the state.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), most states will soon receive 90% of their full year allocations under the FY 2013 Continuing Resolution except for Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, and West Virginia. These states will receive the percentage of their full year allocation they requested in their annual state plans, which is less than 90% for the first two quarters of the year.
“LIHEAP funds are now available for folks needing assistance with their energy bills. Residents seeking LIHEAP aid may schedule an appointment with their local Community Action Partnership office to apply. We want to ensure seniors and families stay safe and warm this winter,” said Reed.
Rhode Islanders wishing to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may go to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources website to get more information and links to an online application. Or, Rhode Islanders may contact their local Community Action Program (CAP) Agency.
Eligibility guidelines for the 2012-13 LIHEAP season are the same as last year and are set at 60% of the Rhode Island median income.