WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed today announced that the Trump Administration is releasing $21,566,217 through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help Rhode Island families and seniors keep warm this winter.
“As temperatures begin to drop, LIHEAP funds are a lifeline for many vulnerable Americans. Each year, this vital program helps thousands of Rhode Island families to keep the heat on and stay warm. No one should have to choose between paying their heating bills and paying for other essentials like food and medicine. I am pleased to help deliver these critical LIHEAP funds now so states like Rhode Island can prepare for the upcoming winter,” said Senator Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the leading Congressional champion of the LIHEAP program.
While the Trump Administration has sought to eliminate LIHEAP from the budget, Senator Reed, along with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), led the bipartisan effort to prevent those cuts and successfully secured $3.69 billion for LIHEAP in the FY19 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill that was signed into law.
Earlier this month, Reed and Collins led a bipartisan letter signed by 33 of their colleagues urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funds for LIHEAP as quickly as possible.
LIHEAP is a federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills. The program is available to help Rhode Islanders who need assistance in meeting the increasing cost of home energy and/or reducing the severity of an energy-related crisis. Rhode Island’s LIHEAP is administered by the Department of Human Services, and about 35,000 Rhode Islanders received assistance through the program last year.
Rhode Island has some of the oldest housing stock in the nation and Senator Reed has led efforts to help Rhode Islanders improve energy efficiency and weatherize homes to reduce high household energy bills.
The average annual LIHEAP benefit to Rhode Island households that use the program is in the range of about $820-$850.
Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size, and the availability of resources. Households in need are encouraged to sign up early for LIHEAP to ensure they receive assistance.
Rhode Islanders wishing to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program may go to the Rhode Island Department of Human Services website to get more information and links to an online application. Or, Rhode Islanders may contact their local Community Action Agency.