January 04, 2018

Springfield Republican: Massachusetts congressional delegation calls for release of additional home heating assistance funds

With frigid temperatures and a winter storm bearing down on the Northeast, Massachusetts congressional lawmakers urged the Trump administration Thursday to release more federal funding to help low-income Americans heat their homes.

All 11 members of the state's congressional delegation penned a letter to Eric Hargan, the acting secretary and deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, urging the agency to immediately release as much of the remaining 10 percent of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds for the fiscal year as possible.

Contending that Massachusetts and the Northeast could face a "home heating crisis" this winter due to sustained low temperatures and high fuel prices, the lawmakers said the release of additional LIHEAP funds would help keep families from choosing between heating their homes or paying for other expenses.

"Families in the Commonwealth will soon confront a home heating emergency as LIHEAP funds are exhausted while extreme cold weather continues to strike the region. Families in the Northeast are also facing heating fuel prices that are significantly higher than last winter," they wrote in their letter. "No family should have to choose between paying their energy bills or paying for other necessities such as food or medicine during dangerously cold days, but a lack of additional LIHEAP funds means that thousands of families may soon have to face these terrible choices."

Read the full article on the Springfield Republican's website here.