BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — With colder days ahead, low-income families in Louisiana will see more home energy assistance with the help of American Rescue Plan dollars. Louisiana will receive an extra $41.4 million in home energy assistance funding in addition to an annual $50.3 million.
Finance deputy manager of the Louisiana Housing Corporation Lauren Holmes said the need is especially great for low-income households.
“Given that we have a fluctuating temperature here in Louisiana, we find that this assistance is critical, otherwise we would have individuals living in the cold which is a life-threatening situation for our elderly and for our disabled. We provide heating and cooling assistance as well as emergency furnace and equipment repairs,” said Holmes.
The Low Income Energy Assistance Program helps Americans cover heating and cooling bills in the form of payments directly to energy providers.
“So far, we have spent 11 million [dollars] of those funds, and we’ve helped about 15,000 households with an average payment of about 700 dollars, we qualify you based on your income and your household size,” said Holmes.
Holmes said since the pandemic, they’ve seen bills in the range of $3,000 dollars and as the Omicron surge continues she expects the need to grow.
“It’s working with our utility companies and with our sub grantees to be able to meet the need as much as we can,” said Holmes.
If you are in need of assistance, visit Energy Assistance (la.gov).