THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT RELEASES EMERGENCY HOME ENERGY FUNDS
Helps Families Affected by Severe Winter Weather
The President has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to release $180 million in emergency Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funds for States, territories, and Indian tribes to help families affected by unusually cold winter weather.
"Millions of Americans across the country, including senior citizens and children, endured cold and prolonged winter weather and still suffer from its effects," the President said. "These emergency funds will help ensure that families can pay their heating bills and prevent utility shut-offs that could endanger lives."
The LIHEAP helps eligible families pay for fuel and weatherization to insulate homes. States determine eligibility and benefit levels. Also as part of LIHEAP, the Congress sets aside emergency funds to help States meet urgent home heating or cooling needs. The President determines when an emergency warrants the release of these funds.
The Congress appropriated $1 billion for LIHEAP for the current fiscal year -- fiscal 1996 -- compared to $1.3 billion a year earlier. It also appropriated $300 million in 1996 emergency funds.
This year, States experienced record low temperatures, record heavy snowfalls, and prolonged periods of severe weather. With the Congress unable to pass a full-year, 1996 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which runs LIHEAP, the Administration released LIHEAP funds in smaller portions, hampering States' ability to help families for the full winter season.
"The Clinton Administration continues to provide the critical resources to States to protect families and senior citizens and aid their recovery from a brutal winter," said HHS Secretary Donna E. Shalala.
Of the more than 5.6 million households that received benefits in 1994, 1.6 million were home to senior citizens, 1.1 million were home to a person with disabilities, and 2.8 million were home to children under 18. Seventy percent of the households had incomes below $8,000 a year.
# # #
The following amounts are being made available:
Alabama 1,537,958 Alaska 661,929 Arizona 689,895 Arkansas 1,179,659 California 8,237,430 Colorado 2,891,774 Connecticut 3,772,422 Delaware 500,716 District of Columbia 585,863 Florida 2,445,044 Georgia 1,934,103 Hawaii 194,775 Idaho 1,109,343 Illinois 10,441,412 Indiana 4,727,578 Iowa 3,350,498 Kansas 1,536,679 Kentucky 2,460,216 Louisiana 1,580,344 Maine 2,354,602 Maryland 2,888,496 Massachusetts 7,544,291 Michigan 9,874,730 Minnesota 7,141,904 Mississippi 1,323,227 Missouri 4,170,708 Montana 1,127,948 Nebraska 1,656,950 Nevada 351,152 New Hampshire 1,428,321 New Jersey 6,987,859 New Mexico 865,875 New York 22,827,256 North Carolina 3,348,080 North Dakota 1,249,390 Ohio 9,236,990 Oklahoma 1,311,516 Oregon 2,220,689 Pennsylvania 12,286,500 Rhode Island 1,237,437 South Carolina 1,227,827 South Dakota 959,742 Tennessee 2,492,146 Texas 4,069,676 Utah 1,316,470 Vermont 1,070,578 Virginia 3,518,511 Washington 3,542,613 West Virginia 1,628,111 Wisconsin 6,428,739 Wyoming 538,034 _____________ Total 180,000,000
Note: Additional amounts are made available to Indian tribes and territories.