Contact: Carter MacLeod
La Crosse, WI – Today, Rep. Ron Kind announced that he joined a bicameral letter calling on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to ensure families are able to keep the heat on this winter through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
“As the world economy recovers from the pandemic, global energy markets are struggling to keep up with a surge in demand and prolonged supply shortages,” the Members wrote. “For low-income families, these price increases are unsustainable and will force them to choose between heating their homes and other essentials like rent, food, or medicine. As state agencies and grantees prepare their winter programs, it is crucial that they have strong support from your department to assist low-income households.”
The cost of home heating is projected to increase by 30 percent this winter, a level that has not been seen since 2014. This increase would impact 61 million households that use natural gas for heat. As a consequence, the purchasing power of appropriated LIHEAP funding could drop by as much as 30%. Specifically, the program’s value in available funding could decrease by $1.14 billion from $3.8 billion for regular appropriations and by $1.35 billion from $4.5 billion for stimulus funds. The Members’ letter requests information and timeline updates regarding implementation and eligibility for low-income families and funding needs for the Department to fulfill its obligations.
Read the letter here.