Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference at the Westchester County Office Building to announce the $1 billion in emergency supplemental Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding she fought to secure in the recently passed continuing resolution. LIHEAP is a federal program that helps millions of Americans, including over 1 million New York households, heat their homes and will be especially critical this winter as residential energy costs are expected to rise drastically. This aid will deliver an estimated $60 million in support for New Yorkers to defray their home energy costs. Senator Gillibrand was joined by County Executive George Latimer, Deputy County Executive Ken Jenkins, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Senator Shelley Mayer, and Assemblyman Chris Burdick.
“LIHEAP provides a lifeline for thousands of low-income families in Westchester County,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As winter approaches and the cost of groceries and other essentials remains high, many simply cannot afford to pay exorbitant heating bills. Today, I’m proud to be delivering an estimated $60 million in emergency supplemental LIHEAP funding for our state. I fought for this additional money to ensure that New Yorkers who rely on LIHEAP assistance have what they need to heat their homes all winter and I will keep fighting to make sure every New Yorker can afford essentials and stay safe and warm.”
“Keeping Westchester’s most vulnerable residents warm during the winter’s coldest months is of vital importance to all levels of Government. We thank Senator Gillibrand, and our other partners in Government, for joining us here in Westchester to make this important announcement and we look forward to our continued partnership,” said County Executive George Latimer.
“With winter on the horizon and home energy costs skyrocketing, this is a crucial program to help lowercosts and make home heating more affordable for New Yorkers,” said Representative Pat Ryan. “I am proud to have helped pass this bipartisan legislation which will ensure the more than 1.7 million New Yorkers who depend on LIHEAP will have this needed relief.”
“As winter approaches, many residents are grappling with the skyrocketing cost of heating. Thanks to Senator Gillibrand’s federal advocacy, New York will now have an estimated $60 million to help offset these costs,” said New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “This allotment builds on the $500 million for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) secured by the Legislature in this year’s enacted state budget, and is a huge boon to our most vulnerable population–who are often left to brave the cold, or resort to dangerous heating alternatives. I want to thank Senator Gillibrand for leveraging these funds for New York, and helping make this winter a little easier for the Empire State.”
“Home energy prices are expected to rise all across the country this winter, and we know that New York State will be hit particularly hard. Last year, 35,000 households in Westchester County received Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits, and Con-Edison is estimating that the average customer’s bill will increase by 22-32 percent this year,” said New York State Senate Shelley Mayer. “I am deeply grateful to Senator Gillibrand and her colleagues for their hard work in securing $1 billion in emergency supplemental aid to the federal LIHEAP program, of which $100 million is expected to be allocated to help New Yorkers defray the costs of their home energy bills this winter. My constituents are in urgent need of energy assistance, and these funds are a lifeline for many of them.”
“People should never have to choose between heating their homes and putting food on the table,” said New York State Assemblymember Chris Burdick. “I applaud the tremendous work of Senator Gillibrand in helping to secure nearly $60 million in additional HEAP funding for New Yorkers who will desperately need this assistance in the face of skyrocketing energy costs. I thank her on behalf of the residents of the 93rd Assembly District.”
Senator Gillibrand has consistently worked to help New Yorkers afford their utilities. This $60 million in funding for LIHEAP in New York comes following a bipartisan, bicameral letter she joined in August calling on congressional leadership to provide emergency supplemental funding for LIHEAP.
Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand called on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to use its statutory authority to ensure that Americans’ household energy bills would not be driven up by energy market manipulation in wholesale natural gas and electricity markets. Last year, she called on the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to address the ongoing energy crisis and ensure families that rely on LIHEAP had the resources they needed to stay warm through the winter. When millions of workers were laid off at the onset of the pandemic, Senator Gillibrand fought alongside her colleagues to deliver $900 million in LIHEAP funding in the CARES Act and an additional $4.5 billion in supplemental funding to the program as part of the American Rescue Plan. She is also a cosponsor of the Heating and Cooling Relief Act, which would expand LIHEAP to universalize energy assistance for all of those who need it.
Starting November 1st, households in White Plains can apply for HEAP benefits online at myBenefits.ny.gov, at the HEAP Local District Contact at the Westchester County Department of Social Services, or by mailing a completed application to the Westchester County Department of Social Services. Starting January 3rd, households can apply for additional funding through the emergency HEAP benefit in person or in writing through the Westchester County Department of Social Services. There is no online option.