Lautenberg, Menendez Announce $34 Million for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in New Jersey

NEWARK, NJ – January 24, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today announced the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released $34.2 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in New Jersey. This federal funding is in addition to the $103 million released to New Jersey in late 2011. The program provides critical assistance to low-income families who struggle each winter to pay their energy bills.

“New Jersey families’ budgets are already stretched thin and in these cold winter months they are concerned about how they will keep their homes warm,” said Senator Lautenberg, a member of the Appropriations Committee, which funds the LIHEAP program. “Home heating assistance is a lifeline for parents working hard to feed their children and seniors living on a fixed income. We will keep fighting to make sure this critical program is available to the thousands of New Jerseyans who are struggling to heat their homes this winter.”

“No New Jersey family should have to worry about whether they will be able to stay warm during the winter season. And LIHEAP is incredibly important for residents of states like New Jersey that are particularly vulnerable to tough winters,” said Senator Menendez. “This funding is literally a lifeline to thousands of low income families, seniors, and laid off workers who are already struggling to make ends meet in a tough economic environment and simply can’t afford the steep cost of heating their homes.”

In October, Senators Lautenberg and Menendez sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius requesting that she release LIHEAP funds as quickly and at as high a level as possible to ensure assistance is available to families as the cold winter months approached. The Senators also sent a letter to Senate and Appropriations Committee leadership urging that they prevent cuts to the LIHEAP program. In addition, they sent a letter to President Obama this week asking him to increase funding for LIHEAP in next year’s budget.

LIHEAP assists qualified families with their home energy needs, such as heating in the winter, cooling their homes in the summer, and insulating their homes to make them more efficient and reduce their energy costs. According to the Campaign for Home Energy Assistance, more than 380,000 people in New Jersey received heating assistance in their homes last winter.

For more information on the LIHEAP program in New Jersey, call 1-800-510-3102 or visit http://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/dhcr/offices/heausfincomefact.html

Contact:
Lautenberg Press Office 202-224-3224

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