As summer ends, fears grow about home heating program's funding this winter

09/13/2011 08:18 PM

A federal proposal to cut funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program already has activists and struggling families in Kentucky worried about this winter.

President Barack Obama’s administration has proposed cutting in half the program’s budget from $5.1 billion to $2.5 billion.

That would slash Kentucky’s share from $57.7 million to $26 million.

And with the state strapped for cash, it’s unclear whether the program will be able to match demand from low income families who will struggle to pay their utility bills this winter.

LIHEAP provides cash to people whose income is at or less than 130 percent of the poverty level. Last year, 113,884 Kentucky households received payments totaling $16 million.

The other component of the program kicks in each January to help families whose heat is about to be shut off. Last year, 190,147 Kentucky households received a total of $41 million in LIHEAP crisis payments, as they are called.

With many families still struggling to make ends meet, some of them are concerned that a drastic cut in LIHEAP could leave them out in the cold this winter. Watch the video report:

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at


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