In Washington, I am working to fully fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which provides struggling families with money to heat their homes. Earlier this year, I helped lead the fight to release $490 million in emergency LIHEAP funds for this winter.
But much more needs to be done. That is why I am trying to get an additional $100 million in emergency LIHEAP funding for New England states.
Each of the last three years, a record number of Americans have turned to this home heating program when they had nowhere else to go. In Massachusetts, only about one-quarter of all eligible families are served by the program. That underscores the fact that the overall amount of money available to help families meet their home heating needs is insufficient to meet the demand. That’s why I’m also working to increase the annual funding for this critical program by an additional $2.5 billion per year and also expand who is eligible for help.
We all know the chilling effect that skyrocketing energy bills can have both inside homes and inside family budgets during these difficult economic times.
Currently, people are eligible to receive assistance from the LIHEAP program in Massachusetts if they earn up to 60 percent of the state’s median income. In Massachusetts, this means that a single person with an income of less than $29,126 is eligible, and a family of four would be eligible for assistance if their annual income is less than $56,011.
In my district, there are several organizations that provide home heating assistance for those seeking aid:
South Middlesex Opportunity Council covers many communities in the Metro West area www.smoc.org 508-620-1230
CAPIC, which covers Revere and Winthrop http://www.capicinc.org/ 617-889-8120
Community Teamwork Inc. in Lowell covers communities including Arlington and Waltham http://www.comteam.org/ 978-459-6161
Tri-CAP, which serves Everett, Malden, Medford and other surrounding communities www.tri-cap.org (website still under development) 781-322-6284
If you need further information, please contact my Medford District Office at 781.396.2900.