2012-11-15 / News

RI receives $23M to help heat homes

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed recently announced that the Obama administration is releasing $3.1 billion in low-income heating assistance funds for fiscal year 2013. Rhode Island will receive $22.8 million.

Earlier this year, Reed led a bipartisan effort to include language in a continuing resolution that specifies that the Obama administration should allocate funding equal to the last year’s level of $3.47 billion. Without Reed’s amendment, the program could have been reduced to as little as $2.82 billion during the winter months.

“I am pleased the Obama administration is releasing this vital heating assistance,” said Reed. “With winter approaching, it is critical to speed this assistance to seniors and low-income families in time to help with their heating bills.”

Last year, Rhode Island received $23.2 million in funding, which helped approximately 32,000 households throughout the state.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most states will soon receive 90 percent of their allocations under the resolution except for Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

“We want to ensure seniors and families stay safe and warm this winter,” said Reed.

Rhode Islanders wishing to apply for the heat assistance should go to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources website to get more information about the program and application process.

Eligibility guidelines for this winter season are the same as last year. It is set at 60 percent of the Rhode Island median income.

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