Trahan Votes for $1 Billion Increase to Home Heating Assistance Program
Washington, September 30, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) supported passage of a government funding package that includes a $1 billion increase to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Of the $1 billion in additional federal funding for LIHEAP, Massachusetts will receive approximately $36,911,000.
“Massachusetts families are scrambling right now to figure out how they’re going to afford their heating and utility bills this winter. Many families simply can’t afford a $40 or $50 increase each month, let alone over a hundred bucks. Growing up, my family certainly wouldn’t have been able to,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “I support this huge increase in home heating assistance funding because no family should be forced to choose between keeping their family warm or putting food on the table. Now, we have to work to get this funding flowing to the families who will be hit hardest by these price increases as soon as possible.”
Last year, 134,180 low income households in Massachusetts received assistance through the LIHEAP program. However, 813,161 households were eligible, meaning less than one in every five eligible homes received home heating assistance in 2021. To meet expected demand increases this winter, the additional appropriation up front is critical. As Massachusetts prepares for increased utility bills this winter, sufficiently funding programs like LIHEAP has become a top priority for Trahan.
Previously, through both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the American Rescue Plan, Trahan voted to more than double LIHEAP funding to $8 billion nationally. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also made historic investments to reduce home energy costs through the Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program, and the American Rescue Plan funded utility relief through the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program and State & Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.
The government funding package passed 230-201. The legislation also includes additional priorities Trahan has advocated for, including $2 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief program and $62 million for the 988 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.