STANDING AT ALBANY CITY HALL, SENATOR GILLIBRAND ANNOUNCES MORE THAN $400 MILLION IN FEDERAL LIHEAP FUNDING FOR NEW YORK STATE
Albany County Households Received Over $8.6 Million Through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in 2021-22; NYS Received $412.5 Million in Total Funding for 2022-23.
ALBANY, N.Y. -Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand held a press conference at Albany City Hall to announce a $412 million federal investment in Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding for New York State. The funding will help low-income New Yorkers defray their home energy costs this winter. Of the total $412 million, Gillibrand fought to secure more than $63 million of it in emergency supplemental LIHEAP funding in the short-term government funding package passed this September. Additionally, she helped secure $349 million [delete: appropriated] from the regular LIHEAP block grant and the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Senator Gillibrand was joined at her press conference by Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Executive Director of Albany Housing Authority Chiquita D’Arbeau, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, Albany Common Council President Corey Ellis, Assemblymember Pat Fahy, Assemblymember John McDonald, Council Member Gabriella Romero, and Council Member Owusu Anane.
“LIHEAP provides a lifeline for thousands of low-income families across New York State,” 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 announce that New York has received more than $412 million in LIHEAP funding, which will help New Yorkers in need heat their homes all winter.”
“COVID continues to disproportionately impact our most vulnerable residents and those struggling to make ends meet” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “Since this pandemic began, Senator Gillibrand has been at the forefront of securing vital fiscal relief that is keeping firefighters and police officers on our streets, our garbage picked up and our water safe to drink. Senator Gillibrand truly understands how important it is to help our residents during these unprecedented times, and I sincerely appreciate her efforts to secure more funding to help those in need especially as we head into the height of the winter season.”
“Winter is coming and the cold is already here as far too many continue to struggle to pay their bills amid record inflation. This is demonstrated by the 170% spike in Albany County HEAP applications last month compared to November 2019,” said Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy. “New York is fortunate to have a champion in Senator Gillibrand who successfully fought for $60 million in supplemental Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding for our state alone. This will provide hope and a needed lifeline to millions of families during the holiday season.”
“With utility bills rising in recent months and colder temperatures looming, New Yorkers should rest assured that their heat and lights will remain on,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. “Senator Gillibrand’s work securing $412 million for the Low Income Heat Assistance Program (LIHEAP) compliments New York’s record $918 million investment in the state’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) we made in the state budget this year, ensuring warm homes for thousands of New Yorkers this winter. I commend and thank Senator Gillibrand for her work in securing these vital funds this year.”
Senator Gillibrand has consistently worked to help New Yorkers afford their utilities. The $63 million in funding for LIHEAP in New York was delivered following a successful bipartisan, bicameral push in August calling on congressional leadership to provide emergency supplemental funding for LIHEAP. Gillibrand also supported the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and LIHEAP block grant, which helped delivered the $349 million appropriated from the regular LIHEAP block grant and the bipartisan. 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.