WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Jack Reed
today announced that the Trump Administration is releasing $23,722,645 through
the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help Rhode Island
families and seniors keep warm this winter. The funding includes $23,682,120
for the State of Rhode Island, along with $40,525 for the Narragansett Tribe.
“As the cold weather sets in across Rhode Island and much of
the country, LIHEAP funds are a lifeline for many of our vulnerable populations
to keep the heat on and stay warm. The funding helps families, seniors,
and others to not have to face the difficult decision 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 38
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.