Opposing Cuts to the Federal LIHEAP Program
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (New York, NY) Recently, President Donald Trump released his budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2018 titled America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again. The president's new budget plan includes defunding several federal programs that many Americans rely on. One of those programs is the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which provides financial assistance to low-income individuals and families for utility payments.
The proposed budget calls LIHEAP a lower-impact program that is "unable to demonstrate strong performance outcomes." We disagree.
The New York Oil Heating Association believes that eliminating this program will not be putting Americans first, it will be putting many in harm's way. Those who rely on LIHEAP range from the elderly to the disabled to families with young children. New Yorkers of all stripes in low-income households depend on financial assistance to stay warm in their homes during the winter.
While the industry is not directly affected, our customers all over New York City will feel the repercussions. One out of every five New Yorkers, 1.7 million people, lives below the federal poverty line. In 2014 alone, LIHEAP grants to New York State provided over one million households with financial assistance. The number of low-income households eligible for LIHEAP continues to climb and the number of people who will be affected by this program will only grow.
Since FY2010, LIHEAP funding has declined by 30 percent (from $5.1 billion in 2009 to $3.4 billion in 2015) as demand for the program continues to rise. We call on the federal government to fund this essential program for low-income families and call on Congress to stand opposed to budget cuts.
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