Energy Assistance Funds Available The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it was releasing a $12,466,278 block grant to Mississippi to help families in need pay their home energy bills. The funds are administered by the Administration for Children and Families through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. The funding to Mississippi is part of an additional $1 billion in LIHEAP funding approved by President Bush Monday.
The bill reallocates mandatory funds appropriated for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program and makes the funds available in 2006 instead of 2007. Half the funds will be spent under the block grant formula and the other half for emergency contingency funding. "These funds will make a positive difference for many low-income families in Mississippi," Secretary Leavitt said. "The Bush Administration is committed to helping people in need meet their increased home energy costs." The additional funds result in a total of $3.1 billion nationwide already made available in 2006, including a total of $600 million in emergency contingency funding. In addition, the federal government has another $101 million that remains available for crises through the emergency contingency fund. Each year, almost 5 million low-income households across the country receive LIHEAP assistance. LIHEAP helps eligible families pay for home heating and insulation in winter and cooling their homes in the warmer months. Individuals interested in applying for LIHEAP assistance should contact their local / state LIHEAP agency.