Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Federal Heating Assistance for MA Communities, Urges Congress to Increase Funds

Posted by erik devaney

The Patrick-Murray Administration announced Thursday that the Commonwealth has received $77.6 million in federal funding that will go toward providing heating assistance to low-income residents in Massachusetts. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding will be distributed to 22 regional agencies , which will administer the funds to households in need.

As New England Post noted in an earlier story, the Commonwealth received $196.5 million in federal LIHEAP funding in 2010. This funding aided over 200,000 low-income households and provided an average assistance benefit of $790 per recipient.

In anticipation of higher fuel costs, Governor Deval Patrick organized a bipartisan coalition of more than a dozen governors to send a letter urging Congressional leaders to bring LIHEAP funding for FY2012 up to the same levels it was funded in previous years.

The letter, citing 27 percent and 15 percent increases for retail prices of residential heating oil and propane fuels respectively and an overall 10 percent increase for households using delivered fuels, calls on Congress to provide $4.7 billion for the program nationwide. The increased funding would provide Massachusetts and other states with the resources to help keep vulnerable families warm this winter season.

“These critical funds will help our families and individuals in need of assistance to heat their homes this winter,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “My thanks go out to the Obama Administration and our Congressional delegation for their support, and we will continue to advocate for more resources to sustain this program into the future.”

“I’m glad some LIHEAP funding is finally getting out the door to assist Massachusetts families with heating their homes,” said U.S. Senator Scott Brown. “Now, Congress and the Obama Administration must work together to make sure this critical program receives sufficient funding this winter.”

“I applaud Governor Patrick’s announcement of the swift distribution of LIHEAP funds,” said Congressman Edward J. Markey. “After facing the immediate challenges of the October snow storm, it is essential that our constituents receive the home heating support they need. Massachusetts families should not be forced to choose between heating and eating during these tough economic times, and this program is a lifeline to prepare for the upcoming winter. I look forward to continuing our work with the Governor to ensure that we get the maximum amount of funding for this program to ensure that Massachusetts residents aren’t left out in the cold.”

The fuel assistance funds provide eligible households with help in paying a portion of their winter heating bills. Eligibility for the program is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. The maximum income eligibility for LIHEAP is 60 percent of estimated state median income. Current benefit levels vary depending on household income.

Funded through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, LIHEAP is managed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in conjunction with 22 regional nonprofit and local government organizations.

The DHCD has authorized LIHEAP spending at the following agencies statewide:

Action For Boston Community Development, Inc. Boston $6,250,540
Action, Inc. Gloucester $895,710
Berkshire Community Action Council, Inc. Pittsfield $2,742,505
Community Action, Inc. Haverhill $1,888,970
City of Cambridge, Department of Human Services Cambridge $739,305
Community Action Programs Inter-City, Inc. Chelsea $1,712,475
Citizens for Citizens, Inc. Fall River $6,059,320
Community Teamwork, Inc. Lowell $4,135,535
Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin Regions, Inc. Greenfield $2,907,995
Greater Lawrence Community Action Council, Inc. Lawrence $3,244,530
Lynn Economic Opportunity, Inc. Lynn $1,681,515
New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. - Fitchburg Fitchburg $3,347,005
New England Farm Workers Council, Inc. - Springfield Springfield $4,092,190
North Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. Peabody $1,306,605
People Acting in Community Endeavors, Inc. New Bedford $4,495,650
Quincy Community Action Programs, Inc. Quincy $1,457,370
Self Help, Inc. Brockton $5,504,435
South Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. Framingham $2,120,865
South Shore Community Action Programs, Inc. Plymouth $4,343,910
Tri City Community Action Program, Inc. Malden $2,008,730
Valley Opportunity Council, Inc. Holyoke $5,913,620
Worcester Community Action Council, Inc. Worcester $5,347,390

Related posts:

  1. An In-Depth Look at Federal Home Heating Assistance in New England: How Much it Costs, Who Benefits and What Might Happen to its Funding in the Near Future
  2. Sen. Kerry Urges Obama to Provide $5.1 Billion in Home Heating Assistance; Cites Rising Oil Prices
  3. Patrick-Murray Administration Secures Federal Relief For Massachusetts Farmers In 11 Counties Impacted By Irene
  4. Patrick-Murray Administration Announces New Land Conservation Incentive
  5. Patrick-Murray Administration Awards $10 Million in Youth Violence Prevention and Trauma Response Training Funding to Municipalities

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Posted by erik devaney on Nov 11 2011. Filed under Featured - For home page featured article, General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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