$159M in low-income heating assistance awarded to Massachusetts

Saying big oil companies “don’t give a damn” about low-income households, U.S. Rep. James McGovern, D-Worcester, announced Friday that Congress has approved $4.4 billion for the state’s share of low-income housing. 159 million dollars in funding. Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), part of the annual appropriations passed by Congress in September and signed into law by President Joe Biden.

McGovern’s office said one in five eligible Massachusetts households received help with home heating last winter. The money allocated will help low-income families manage home heating costs for the coming winter months, as well as help cover unpaid utility bills.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts normally received about $130 million in LIHEAP funding, but due to inflation that can increase natural gas prices by 60 percent and that McGovern called the U.S. In what oil producers called a “price hike,” Congress increased it this year. Customization

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“Big oil is ripping people off by raising prices and we’re taking it. We’re taking their greed and raising prices by giving people a way to heat their homes this winter. are demanding,” he said.

“We asked the Massachusetts delegation in Congress for the immediate release of home heating assistance and I’m proud to see this huge amount of funding move quickly into the hands of those who need it. “Our top priority is reducing costs and putting money in the pockets of working families, and that’s what LIHEAP will do for thousands of households across the Commonwealth.”

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The funding includes $118 million for the LIHEAP program for Massachusetts families, an additional $36 million provided by Congress and $3.7 million in funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

McGovern said American households are battling two issues affecting heating prices this year. “Big oil is profiting from Putin’s war (against Ukraine) so much that it can’t produce oil, which is driving up prices,” McGovern said. “At the same time, their profits are going to record-breaking levels. They are ripping off people and using inflation as an excuse.

Russian oil, which has been part of the price structure in the international market, is no longer available because of the war, and McGovern said Saudi Arabia and OPEC were cutting their oil production to force prices up. are

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LIHEAP has been helping American families for more than 40 years and is administered by the Department of Health and Human Services. Funding of $4,492,719,317 for fiscal year 2022 is being distributed to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, three territories and more than 125 federally recognized Native American tribes. The fund can be used for direct payments for heating and cooling costs, bill payment assistance, energy crisis assistance, climate change, and energy-related home repairs.

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