WASHINGTON- As much of the state hits record high temperatures, Representatives Raúl Grijalva, Greg Stanton, and Ruben Gallego called on House leadership to pass emergency funding for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
The emergency funding would help vulnerable families and individuals in Arizona pay their electricity bills as dangerous, record-breaking heat continues to be forecasted—temperatures in Phoenix have hit 110 degrees daily for more than 3 weeks.
“Long-term and life-threatening heat waves caused by climate change coupled with a lack of energy assistance is an emerging public health crisis,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Extreme heat disproportionately impacts lower-income households, people of color, those with disabilities, and houseless populations. As scorching temperatures become more frequent, costs for Arizonans and their families to stay cool rise too. I’m proud to join my colleagues in calling for a fully funded LIHEAP in an emergency supplemental to make certain we provide critical assistance for Arizonans to pay their utility bills.”
“In Phoenix right now, air conditioning is a matter of life or death. No low-income family or senior on a fixed income should be weighing the cost of cooling their home against paying rent or buying groceries,” Rep. Stanton said. “The need to bolster LIHEAP and ensure that home energy funding will be available to all of those who need it could not be more urgent.”
“As temperatures rise, so do electric bills, and I know that many Arizona families struggle to keep up,” Rep. Gallego said. “I’m proud to join my colleagues from Arizona and other heat-stricken communities in requesting emergency supplemental funding for LIHEAP. This funding is critical to lower costs for working families and keep lifesaving ACs running.”
The letter, signed by 31 other Members of Congress representing Southwestern and Southern states, is available HERE.
LIHEAP is administered through the Arizona Department of Economic Security, and eligibility is based on income, family size and the availability of resources. Arizonans needing assistance can apply online at https://des.az.gov/liheap or by calling the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program hotline at 1-866-494-1981.