The “Need Help With Utilities?” posters have loads of info on all the utility assistance programs in the area. As the temperatures drop, the info these posters can help you cope with soaring utilities costs.
The posters are on large 11″x17″ paper and are perfect for your organization’s lobby, waiting room, or bulletin board.
Please email email@example.com or call us at 853-1101 to get posters.
You can also download the “Need Help With Utilities?” poster here:
“Need Help With Utilities?” (pdf)
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With the looming 40% increase in fuel costs reported by National Grid, this article from Business First of Louisville is a reminder of the significant increase in the basic cost of living for many Americans. There can be no doubt that energy bills per month are much higher in Buffalo.
Moreover, these figures are taken during the month of August and therefore reflect gas costs outside of winter.
What is desperately needed if low-income families are expected to keep up with the high cost of heat would be:
1) Raise the welfare grant to reflect true cost of living. Currently, TANF allots $54/month for heating costs. This does not reflect the true cost of heat.
2) Support the development of green building policies and weatherization programs. These policies would not only increase the energy efficiency of homes throughout New York State but would also support construction jobs, thereby strengthening our economy from the ground up. Low-income families living in more energy efficient homes would be able to save the money currently being thrown away on gas, or spend it on other basic needs such as transportation or health care.
More on this behind the jump.
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Posted in affordable housing, Buffalo, DSS, economic justice, Erie County, HEAP, Home heating, policy, poverty, tagged benefits, emergency help, HEAP, utilities on September 10, 2008 |
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National Fuel & Gas recently estimated that home heating costs for its customers would increase by 40% this winter. In other words, what you could heat for $100 last year will now cost $140.
With no signficant increase in utility assistance from either the Erie County Department of Social Services, the Home Energy Assistance Program, or similar community funds (Neighbor-4-Neighbor), many low-income individuals and families face the possibility of gas shut-off this winter, leaving them homeless by federal definition (even if they have a roof over their heads).
Just for the record: the Department of Social Services offers families on TANF (public assistance) $54 per month to cover their heating costs. Why so little? Because the welfare grant hasn’t been raised since 1990. Maybe when George Bush, Sr. was in office, $54 could cover your heating costs, but when McCain or Obama take the presidential seat, $54 is a fraction of the cost of home heating for those living in the Northeast.
If you want to learn more about raising the welfare grant, visit the Hunger Action Network of NYS website.
The following information is for low-income residents of Erie County and case managers of human services agencies. Please be aware of these heating assistance options as costs increase this winter. DON’T WAIT UNTIL IT’S TOO LATE TO ACCESS THESE SERVICES. (more…)
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