Additional funding protects benefits for more than 200,000 MA families

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Malden), a longtime champion of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced that the Department of Health and Human Services has released an additional $200 million in emergency funding to states for the critical home-heating program. The $200 million in emergency contingency funds released yesterday are in addition to the basic LIHEAP funding made available to states under the continuing resolutions since October 1 totaling $3.9 billion for Fiscal Year 2011. These additional emergency funds bring Massachusetts LIHEAP funding to a total of $182 million.

Rep. Markey has led the fight in the House to fully fund LIHEAP this winter, leading two letters with his House colleagues over the last three months calling for the program to be fully funded in any continuing resolution. Click here for the letters.

With temperatures in the minuses, these additional LIHEAP funds are a big plus for Bay Staters shivering through one of the coldest winters in recent memory,” Rep Markey said. “As we work to get the economy to heat back up, we need to make sure that millions of families are not left without the heating oil or natural gas they need to get through the season. I am pleased that the Administration has released these funds that hundreds of thousands of Massachusetts families depend on to get through the freezing weather.”

“With the snow piling up across Massachusetts, this new funding is a lifeline for people who are struggling through another brutal winter,” said Sen. Kerry. “It’s been a daily fight to get our state our fair share, but it's worth the effort because it means helping people keep their homes heated."

In Massachusetts, more than 200,000 families depend on the program to help heat their homes. More than 65,000 Massachusetts families rely on LIHEAP to help pay for delivered fuel.

For more information on LIHEAP and where to apply, please visit the following website: