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PRESS RELEASE - Downing Votes to Keep Families Across Massachusetts Warm
November 13, 2007

Boston- State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield) announces that during today’s formal session, the Senate voted in support of a supplemental appropriations bill to provide $15 million to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 


“This critical funding will keep families from having to make difficult decisions between heating their homes and putting food on the table,” stated Downing, who voted in favor of the bill.  “We need to make sure we protect the vulnerable and take care of those most in need.”


LIHEAP, a federal assistance program administered in Massachusetts by the Department of Housing and Community Government (DHCD), assists low income individuals and families pay their heating bills during winter months.  LIHEAP provides assistance to eligible households below 200% of the federal poverty level. The amount of fuel assistance depends on income and heating costs.  Last winter benefits ranged from $465 to $687. Rental tenants may receive fuel assistance even if heat is included in the rent.  Additional assistance may be available for energy-saving home improvements and heating system repairs. Payments are made on behalf of families directly to vendors of oil, electricity or other utilities. 


The supplemental budget engrossed by the Senate today now returns to the House of Representatives for final enactment.


To apply for heat assistance, contact your local community action council:

Berkshire Community Action Council (BCAC)

Pittsfield: 413-445-4503

North Adams: 413-663-3014

Great Barrington: 413-528-1947

Toll Free: 866-216-6100


Community Action! Of the Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin Regions

Greenfield: 413-774-2318

Toll Free: 800-370-0940



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