Today U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the release of $311 million to states to help low-income homeowners and renters meet home energy costs under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The continuing resolution currently in place directs HHS to release these funds to states, territories, tribes and the District of Columbia.
"Many families are burdened with making difficult financial decisions when it comes to their home energy needs," said Sebelius. "The release of these funds will help those low-income individuals and families pay their energy bills, reduce those high energy costs and get the basic essentials they need to sustain a healthy and quality standard of living."
LIHEAP assists qualified families with their home energy needs such as heating in the winter, cooling their homes in the summer, and insulating their homes to make them more energy efficient. By doing so, families are able to pay for heating and electricity, make weather related improvements to their homes and prevent service interruptions.
The $311 million in block grant funds released today supplement the previous LIHEAP funding made available to states under the continuing resolutions since October 1, totaling $4.2 billion for Fiscal Year 2011.
"Countless families across the country continue to endure tough economic conditions," said David A. Hansell, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. "These additional LIHEAP funds will provide assistance to individuals who face the troubles of paying their electric, natural gas or other energy bills while meeting other essential household expenses."
For a complete listing of state allocations of funds released today go to: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/news/press/2011/fy11apr_liheap_funds_cr.html.
Individuals interested in applying for energy assistance should contact their local/state LIHEAP agency. For more information, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap or http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/liheap/brochure/brochure.html.