Time Running Out For Heat Assistance Program

By Jordan Weinstein

Oct. 24, 2011

BOSTON — Advocates for low-income residents in Massachusetts are appealing to the federal government to release funding for a winter heating oil assistance program.
Action for Boston Community Development President John Drew said that without a funding commitment, the program is in limbo just one week before the scheduled start of deliveries to the elderly and low-income families.
“Right now I’ve got 14,000 families who have already applied to ABCD. As of this time, the federal government, which is where the money comes from — which has already been appropriated by Congress in the continuing resolution — has not yet committed funds for the state,” Drew said. (Listen to Drew's comment.)
About a quarter of a million Massachusetts households received fuel assistance last winter. The Obama administration and Congress have been weighing cuts in the program as they wrestle with the federal deficit. Without the funding, advocates said, many poor families may be forced out of their homes and into shelters.

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