HHS Provides $1 Billion in Energy Assistance Funds to Help Low-Income Families
Thursday, March 23, 2006, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt today announced the release of $1 billion in supplemental funds to states and direct grant tribes that will help families in need pay their home energy bills. These funds are administered by the Administration for Children and Families through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
On Monday, March 20, 2006, President George W. Bush signed into law S.2320/Public Law 109-204, which provides an additional $1 billion in LIHEAP funding for FY 2006. The bill reallocates mandatory funds appropriated for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and makes the funds available in FY 2006 instead of FY 2007. Half the funds ($500 million) will be spent under the block grant formula and the other half ($500 million) for emergency contingency funding.
“These funds will make a positive difference for many low-income families,” Secretary Leavitt said. “The Bush Administration is committed to helping people in need meet their increased home energy costs.”
The additional funds result in a total of $3.1 billion already made available in FY 2006, including a total of $600 million in emergency contingency funding. In addition, the federal government has another $101 million that remains available for crises through the emergency contingency fund.
HHS Assistant Secretary for Children and Families Wade F. Horn, Ph.D. added, “LIHEAP helps millions of America’s most needy families. This aid will address the current increases in home energy costs throughout much of the nation and ensure the continued health and well-being of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”
Each year, almost 5 million low-income households across the country receive LIHEAP assistance. LIHEAP helps eligible families pay for home heating and insulation in winter and cooling their homes in the warmer months.
Individuals interested in applying for LIHEAP assistance should contact their local/state LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/ or www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/liheap/brochure.html.
To see the total amount of LIHEAP funding given to each state, view www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2006/March2006_liheap.htm
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