2005-03-18 / Community

Weiner Aids Seniors In Heating Homes

With winter keeping an icy grip on New York City, Representative Anthony has introduced legislation to help seniors heat their homes.

The Low Income Heating Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides federal funding to help seniors pay the high cost of heating their homes. Under this program, any household that makes below 150% of the poverty line or about $20,000 a year is eligible for aid.

The problem, Weiner says is that the federal poverty line is the same for every state in this country, even though it costs a lot more to live in places like New York City. That means New York City seniors are paying more to live and receiving less federal assistance.

And, to make matters worse, he argues, even though the City accounts for 42% of the state’s population, it receives only 14% of the funding the State distributes for energy assistance programs.

Today, Weiner, joined by 14 other members of Congress, introduced legislation to give assistance to seniors that make between $20,000 a year and the state median income. In New York City, seniors making up to $46,000 would be eligible for heating energy assistance.

That’s 180,000 additional low-income seniors in the City that would receive assistance paying their bills.

 “Our icy sidewalks should serve as a reminder that winter’s not over yet,” said Rep. Weiner. “Today, many seniors don’t have a warm place to go home to.”

Co-sponsoring the legislation are Reps. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (OH), Ed Case (HI), Ted Strickland (OH), John Conyers (MI), Elijah Cummings (MD), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Alcee Hastings (FL), Major Owens (NY), Donald Payne (NJ), Jim Marshall (GA), Frank Pallone Jr. (NJ), Robert Wexler (FL), William Lacy Clay (MO), and Julia Carson (IN).

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