Commonwealth to receive more than $132 million in federal heating aid
Washington (March 2, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) release of an additional $18,098,515 of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to Massachusetts, after $114,282,623 was released in November 2019. Massachusetts was projected to receive just $11.4 million from this second allocation but Senators Markey and Warren successfully worked to secure an additional $6.7 million in funds through appropriations language that ensured states receive at least 97 percent of the prior year funding. One percent of LIHEAP funds were held back by the Trump administration, reportedly for use in coronavirus response. Senators Markey and Warren previously urged the administration to fully fund the coronavirus response using new funding, rather than taking money meant to help low-income families pay their energy bills.
“LIHEAP funding is critical every year for the thousands of Massachusetts families who depend on this assistance to stay warm and safe during the cold winter months,” said Senators Markey and Warren in a joint statement. “Protecting the state’s program from potentially devastating funding cuts this year is an important victory, and we will keep fighting to ensure that funding for vulnerable Massachusetts residents remains available every year.”
LIHEAP is the main federal program that helps low-income households and seniors with their energy bills, providing critical assistance during the cold winter and hot summer months. More information about LIHEAP is available on the HHS website HERE. Last year, the Senators requested more information from HHS after the agency announced a significant decrease in Massachusetts LIHEAP funding for the second year in a row.