By Karen Stokes
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled approximately $3.7 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through the Administration of Children and Families (ACF). This funding aims to assist households in covering their home energy expenses.
The funding will help ensure that households across the country will have the support they need to maintain safe and healthy indoor temperatures, especially during the upcoming winter months.
The Biden-Harris Administration has invested nearly $22 billion in LIHEAP to date. The funding released on Tuesday is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, which includes $100 million in increased funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law in addition to regular appropriations from the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2024.
“LIHEAP is critical to lowering energy costs for families, and protecting the health and safety of households, particularly those that include older adults, individuals with disabilities, and young children,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “With additional support from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, this essential program will help households keep the heat on in the winter and stay cool in the summer while still being able to afford other essentials necessary for good health like food, medicine, and housing.”
“Last year alone LIHEAP served more than six million households. By helping to alleviate the burden of home energy costs, LIHEAP advances ACF’s mission to promote the economic and social well-being of children, families, and communities,” said ACF Acting Assistant Secretary Jeff Hild.
LIHEAP is administered by ACF’s Office of Community Services (OCS). Every year, OCS releases funding to states, tribes and territories to assist families and individuals with heating assistance, cooling assistance, home energy equipment repair and replacement and minor energy-related home repairs.
In addition to the funding announcement, ACF is introducing an official LIHEAP eligibility tool. This easy-to-use tool enables households across the nation to promptly determine their potential eligibility for LIHEAP assistance by providing basic details such as income and household size.