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: http://liheap.org/assets/letters/Mayoral%20LIHEAP%20Sign%20On%20Letter.pdf
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. www.liheap.org
SOURCE Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)