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Feds Release Portion of Funding that NYS Is Set to Receive for FY11, Schumer Pledges to Fight to Ensure NYS Receives Full LIHEAP Funding

Schumer: As Temperatures Plunge, No One Should Have to Choose Between Putting Food on the Table and Heat in their Home

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released $69 million in federal emergency heating funds to New York. The funds which come through the Low Income Heating Assistance Program, LIHEAP, help New Yorkers heat their homes during the long winter. Today's announced funding is only a partial allocation New York could receive much more once Congress passes a fiscal year 2011 (FY11) budget.


"This emergency heating aid should allow millions of New Yorkers to sleep easier tonight, knowing that money will be available to help them heat their homes in the short term," Schumer said. "While these funds are much needed and a welcome development, it's only part of the LIHEAP money that the feds owe New York and I'll be fighting to make sure we get the full amount in the budget."


Because Congress has not yet passed an FY11 budget federal agencies can release funds to the states based on what is anticipated to come out of the final budget. For instance, the House of Representatives has planned to fund the LIHEAP program at $5.1 billion this coming fiscal year whereas the Senate bill contains approximately $2.7 billion in funds. Therefore, HHS takes the lowest allocated amount, in this case the Senate's $2.7 billion.


While today's announced funding provides much needed relief to New Yorkers who will struggle to heat their homes this winter, Schumer pledged to fight to include full funding for LIHEAP in this year's coming budget which will significantly aid New York's families.


The mission of LIHEAP is to assist low income households, particularly those with the lowest incomes that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy, primarily in meeting their immediate home energy needs. States, territories, and Indian tribes and tribal organizations that wish to assist low income households in meeting the costs of home energy may apply for a LIHEAP block grant. Congress established the formula for distributing funds to States based on each State's weather and low income population. Home energy is defined by statute as a source of heating or cooling in residential dwellings.