Schumer pushes to add $100M to LIHEAP ahead of spike in heating price

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COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York Senator and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was in Colonie Monday morning pushing for new ways to help those in need pay their heating bills this winter. This as higher heating costs are being forecast across the country—by over 40% in Western New York, for example.

Schumer revealed a two-pronged plan to get federal aid to Upstate New York families and residents struggling to make ends meet. Schumer wants to “turn up the heat” in the Capital Region by:

  1. Quickly releasing federal funds that help pay for heat: The senator called on the Department of Health and Human Services to expedite the release of Upstate New York’s federal alottment, which was over $3 billion last year
  2. Increase funds to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by $100 million: Schumer said he’ll push to increase the program via the upcoming budget

“Last year alone, more than 55,000 Capital Region households tapped roughly $20 million in federal home energy assistance, and this year families across the Capital Region could need to tap more, and the feds need to be ready for it,” Schumer said. He also warned that supply chain issues will likely worsen the issue, freezing out working families and seniors who need aid.

LIHEAP aims to help those on fixed and lower incomes by providing monthly benefits. Funds can go towards better heating or airconditioning units, weatherization, and fuel. Check out the breakdown provided by Schumer’s office for the four central Capital Region counties:

County2021 households receiving energy aid2021 households receiving emergency aid
Albany20,5011,739
Saratoga11,0502,030
Schenectady12,9932,591
Rensselaer12,340771
Total56,8847,131

Alongside local seniors, several local leaders were scheduled to be in attendance, including:

  • Diane Conroy-Lacivita, the executive director of Colonie Senior Services
  • Paula Mahan, Colonie Town Supervisor
  • Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
  • Deb Riitano, Commissioner Albany Department of Aging

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