LIHEAP.org - Since its inception in 1981, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) has evolved into a widely supported, highly effective program that delivers critical short-term aid to our most vulnerable neighbors. LIHEAP is an essential resource for the country’s most under-served populations, including the working poor, those making the difficult transition from welfare to work, disabled persons, elderly and families with young children. LIHEAP is an exceptionally efficient and targeted program, with state block grants flowing to local agencies with specific clients on a short-term basis, providing heating and cooling assistance to roughly 6.7 million households.
LIHEAP was originally conceived to address high heating costs, especially in the Northeast. Congress broadened the program in 1984 and made clear that LIHEAP is needed to help meet the pervasive needs of at-risk American in all regions of the country, as they face the rigors of both cold and hot weather. By leveraging private dollars to supplement federal dollars, LIHEAP has proven that successful relationships can exist between the government, businesses, gas and electric utilities and community-based social service organizations.
Without energy assistance, many low-income households would have to choose between heating and eating or other vital necessities. This is especially true during the peak winter heating and summer cooling seasons, when energy bill can comprise roughly 30 percent of a low-income household’s monthly income, especially in substandard housing. During tough economic times and with home heating and cooling prices on a steady incline, LIHEAP has never been more important for the protection of millions of struggling families.
Learn more about the national campaign for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: www.LIHEAP.org