Major Mayors Sign on to Letter Asking Obama for Increased LIHEAP Funding

Feb 26, 2014, 10:43 ET from Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Citing a significant uptick in extreme weather conditions over the past year eighteen major city Mayors from across the country, including St. Louis, Los Angeles, Boston and Philadelphia, wrote President Obama requesting that he include at least $4.7 billion in funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) in his FY2015 budget.

Mayors across the country recognize the necessity of LIHEAP in providing crucial resources to keep heat and cooling running during these tough economic times. The letter directly calls President Obama to increase this crucial funding to those who need the most help – seniors, households with children under five, veterans and the disabled.

"We're already seeing the demand for LIHEAP funds surge this year thanks to the lowest winter temperatures in decades for some parts of the country. The nation's poverty rate is at 15 percent, with almost 22 percent of children living in poverty," LIHEAP Campaign Director Brandon Avila explains. "These troubling poverty figures coupled with increased energy instability for our most vulnerable populations underscore the importance of this program – demand is quickly outpacing the resources currently available to the program.

LIHEAP offices are reporting a record number of applicants this winter in what has become a perfect storm for the program: responding to a tough winter while maintaining enough resources to respond to additional needs later in the year. Since FY2010, LIHEAP funding has declined by 30 percent (from $5.1 billion in 2009 to $3.4 billion in 2014) as energy prices continue to rise. Continued cuts to the LIHEAP program will only hurt those trying hard to make send meet in these tough economic times.

Signatories to the Letter

Francis G. Slay St. Louis, Missouri

Martin J. Walsh Boston, Massachusetts

Eric Garcetti Los Angeles, California

Jonathan Rothschild Tucson, Arizona

Michael Nutter Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Betsy Hodges Minneapolis, Minnesota

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Baltimore, Maryland

Mike Duggan Detroit, Michigan

Greg Stanton Phoenix, Arizona

Michael Brennan Portland, Maine

Jon Mitchell New Bedford, Massachusetts

Vincent C. Gray Washington, DC

Angel Taveras Providence, Rhode Island

Charlie Hales Portland, Oregon

Pedro E. Segarra, Hartford, Connecticut

Carolyn G. Goodman Las Vegas, Nevada  

Rusty Bailey Riverside California

Patrick D. Cannon Charlotte, North Carolina

The full letter can be found here at:

About the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

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 with heating, cooling, weatherization and energy crisis assistance. LIHEAP is an essential resource for the country's most underserved populations, including the working poor, the disabled and the elderly living on fixed incomes.

SOURCE Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)