Senators join group seeking more heating funds for low-income residents


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CONCORD, New Hampshire — New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte have joined a bipartisan group of senators calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to quickly release as much federal heating aid as possible.

In a letter to Secretary Sylvia Burwell, the senators urged the department to release Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program funds without delay and at as high a level as possible.

Earlier this year, Shaheen and Ayotte urged Senate appropriators to fund LIHEAP at a level no less than $4.7 billion in Fiscal Year 2015 to help low-income families and seniors.

They had said that — according to the National Energy Assistance Directors' Association — not only has the number of households served decreased, but those receiving assistance have seen their average LIHEAP grant reduced by about $100, from $520 to around $400.

"As the relevant state agencies begin to provide assistance for this winter, it is critical that they have the resources to assist low-income households and seniors as soon as possible," the senators said in a recent letter.

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