Oct 10 2015
BISMARCK, N.D. – U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp joined a bipartisan group of Senators in pressing the Administration to release critical federal funds for home heating assistance as soon as possible to help low-income families, Native American tribes, and seniors keep their homes heated during the coming winter months.
“It’s important that North Dakota’s seniors, low-income families, and Native American tribes know that there are federal funds available to keep their homes heated and their families safe from the harsh winter weather that is right around the corner in North Dakota,” said Heitkamp. “That’s why I joined a bipartisan group of Senators to urge the Administration to release this federal heating assistance early so folks have time to plan ahead and aren’t forced to choose between heating their homes – or taking care of other necessities like buying medicine, filling the car with gas, or putting food on the table. As winter approaches, low-income families, seniors, and tribes should know they are safe and protected during the long, cold winter months.”
Heitkamp and 38 other senators sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to urge for an early release of federal funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
LIHEAP is a block grant program under which the federal government gives annual grants to states, territories, and Indian tribal organizations to operate home energy assistance programs for needy households. The program receives funding from two sources: contingency funds and regular funds. Contingency funds are allocated to states at the discretion of the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services. These funds may be released at any point in the fiscal year to provide additional home energy assistance. Regular funds are allocated in the annual appropriations bill.