Senators announce double funding to help heat Montana homes this winter

Baucus, Tester say Montana will receive more than $35 million for LIHEAP

(CUT BANK, Mont.) – Federal funding to help heat homes for Montana’s low income families this year is more than twice as much as what it was last year, U.S. Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester announced today.

This year the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will send $35.2 million to Montana’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly known as LIHEAP.  Last year, Montana received $15.6 million for LIHEAP.

Both Baucus and Tester are sponsors of legislation to fully fund LIHEAP.  The Senators said home heating costs are expected to reach record highs this year, which will take a bigger bite out of family budgets.

“All Montanans deserve a warm place to live and raise their families in the winter—especially in a state where winters are long and unpredictable,” Baucus said.  “With energy costs on the rise, increasing this funding for folks in need is the right thing to do.”

“No Montanans should have to choose between heating their homes or feeding their families,” Tester said.  “That’s why Max and I worked hard to get LIHEAP funded at its full level.  It’s a resource that will go a long way for a lot of families in the coming months.”

More than 112,000 households in Montana are eligible for assistance from LIHEAP.  But only 20,000 of them took advantage of the program last year.

Baucus and Tester urged anyone with questions about LIHEAP to contact the Montana Citizens’ Advocate Office toll-free at 1-800-332-2272.  More information about the program is also available online HERE.