Today marks the first day New Yorkers can apply for HEAP
Congressman Higgins recently spoke out on the House Floor in opposition to drastic cuts to the HEAP program and sent a letter to appropriators asking for HEAP funding to be restored. Higgins is also an original cosponsor of legislation introduced by Congressman Reed that ensures HEAP funds are directed first to cold-weather states.
During the 2009-2010 HEAP season, the program provided 203,237 benefits totaling $51.9 million in assistance to residents in Erie County and 31,818 benefits totaling $9,168,689 for Chautauqua County seniors and families.
“Extreme federal cuts to HEAP are threatening the health and safety of Western New Yorkers. Today’s large public response as enrollment begins demonstrates the great local need for assistance in today’s especially difficult economy. Nevertheless, Washington’s frustrating proclivity to put politics before people could leave seniors out in the cold.
“While our fight for HEAP relief slightly eased drastic federal cuts to the program, New York is still expected to see over 25 percent less in its HEAP budget this year. We will continue the fight but today’s outpouring of requests for help clearly shows that while Buffalo’s temperature is hovering just over single digits, Washington is a much colder place.”