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BOSTON – The Patrick-Murray administration last week announced $77.6 million in federal funding to provide heating assistance to residents with low incomes in Mass. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program funding will be distributed to 22 regional agencies, including two in Bristol County.
Among the local administering agencies were Fall River-based Citizens for Citizens Inc., which will receive $6.05 million in federal money, and New Bedford-based People Acting in Community Endeavors Inc., which will receive $4.49 million.
Patrick had pressured the federal government for funds. Earlier this year, he organized a bipartisan coalition of more than a dozen governors to send a letter urging congressional leaders to bring LIHEAP funding for fiscal 2012 up to the same levels it was funded in fiscal 2011.
Citing 27 percent and 15 percent increases for retail prices of residential heating oil and propane fuels respectively, the letter called on Congress to provide $4.7 billion for the program nationwide.
The fuel-assistance funds provide eligible households with help in paying a portion of their winter heating bills. Eligibility for the program is based on household size and the gross annual income of every household member, 18 years of age or older. •