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HHS Releases $200 Million in Emergency Funding to States for Energy Assistance

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced January 24 the release of $200 million in emergency contingency funding to help eligible low-income homeowners and renters meet home energy costs. These LIHEAP contingency funds will provide states, territories, tribes and the District of Columbia with additional assistance to pay heating and other home energy costs.

“During the cold winter months, heating your home becomes more than a matter of comfort,” said Sebelius. “The release of these emergency funds will help low-income families and individuals afford the high energy costs rather than force them to make cutbacks on other essentials.”

LIHEAP helps eligible families pay for home heating, cooling and other energy costs, as well as helping to weatherize eligible families’ homes.

The $200 million in emergency contingency funds released today are in addition to the basic LIHEAP funding made available to states under the continuing resolutions since October 1 totaling $3.9 billion for Fiscal Year 2011.

“Low-income individuals and families are hit hard by energy costs,” said David A. Hansell, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “We are releasing these emergency funds to states to help meet the critical needs of vulnerable children, seniors and families.”