U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pledged in Elmont on Friday to add another $1 billion to the Federal Heating Assistance Program as part of an interim budget bill that expires later this month.
Schumer, DN.Y., said the additional funding will bring the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to a total of $5 billion in fiscal 2023. The deadline for passing the provisional budget is September 30.
“Every time we touch the thermostat this winter, a new concern arises. Many seniors and working families have to reach deep into their pockets,” Schumer said. We all know the price of natural gas is going to go up, it’s going to go up by a lot, and given that, adding fuel to federal funds that help pay tens of thousands of Long Islanders It’s my job, for heating in the winter.”
Schumer announced the move for increased funding in front of the home of 63-year-old John Przykta in Elmont, a disabled tow truck driver.
Przykuta, who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, said he was “extremely worried” about how he would heat his home this winter.
The federal program will also subsidize electricity bills in warmer states, as air conditioning usage increases, Schumer said.
Newsday reported earlier this month that as volatility in the natural gas market continues to affect prices, especially in the Northeast, homeowners using natural gas expect their heating bills to rise by 29% this winter, according to National Grid. reported that
With approximately 611,000 National Grid customers on Long Island, the average household bill could jump from $299 to $1,320 before taxes this winter, according to Newsday.
Schumer said a volatile energy sector strained by the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change could be the cause of rising fuel prices.
Assemble. Michaelle C. Solages (D-Elmont) said many of the reasons for the cost increase were “global, but we are feeling the pinch locally.” She thanked Schumer and said, “Every dollar we have in the heat will benefit our family on Long Island and benefit New York State.
Over 80,000 Long Island households benefited from $20 million in HEAP funding.
In Nassau, approximately 18,450 households regularly rely on HEAP benefits, including approximately 1,240 households receiving emergency assistance. In Suffolk, 67,500 families received assistance and 8,270 families received emergency benefits.
“There are families who have literally already made decisions about whether to put gas in the car, whether to buy food, whether to buy medicine. ,” Jeff said. Reynolds, President and CEO of the Family & Children’s Association, a non-profit organization based in Garden City that serves approximately 30,000 people annually.
He said the remaining effects of the pandemic, combined with inflation, are disproportionately affecting older people and working families.
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