Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference on Long Island 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 President and CEO of the Health and Welfare Council of Long Island Rebecca Sanin and Director of Special Programs at the Long Island Housing Partnership Michelle Di Benedetto.
“LIHEAP provides a lifeline for thousands of low-income families on Long Island,” 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.”
“LIHP thanks Senator Gillibrand for her work on the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It’s important for low income individuals and families to be able to support home energy cost here on Long Island.” Peter Elkowitz, President and CEO Long Island Housing Partnership, Inc.” – LIHP’s President Peter Elkowitz
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 on November 1st, households in Suffolk County and Nassau County can apply online at myBenefits.ny.gov. Households may also apply in person at their HEAP Local District Contact, which for Suffolk County residents, is the Suffolk County Department of Social Services, and for Nassau County residents, is the Nassau County Department of Social Services. They may also apply in writing by mailing the completed application to their respective Departments of Social Services.
Starting January 3rd, households can apply for additional funding through the emergency HEAP benefit in person or in writing through their respective Departments of Social Services. There is no online option.