FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sen. Kelly Renews Calls to Bolster Home Heating Assistance; Joins TEAM, Inc., Advocates at Roundtable Discussion on Home Heating Crisis

December 12, 2023

Sen. Kelly Renews Calls to Bolster Home Heating Assistance

Joins TEAM, Inc., Advocates at Roundtable Discussion on Home Heating Crisis

ANSONIA, CT – At a roundtable discussion today at Ansonia City Hall, Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) renewed his call for Connecticut to bolster funding for home heating assistance at a time when Congress has cut the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the need among Connecticut families is growing.

“Connecticut families are facing a home heating crisis,” said Sen. Kelly. “We heard today from families who are facing impossible choices: do I heat, or do I eat? People are hurting, and we need to address this crisis now, because winter is here. Connecticut has the resources to fund energy assistance, but the majority are taking a wait-and-see approach. I will continue to fight for action to provide that relief to our seniors, working and middle-class families.”

David Morgan, President and CEO of Team Inc. said “After last year’s unprecedented increase in energy assistance applications to help heat their homes, once again TEAM is experiencing more requests this winter season while witnessing the devastating realities of significantly reduced energy assistance benefits falling on the backs of our most vulnerable populations throughout Connecticut – we see it every day here at TEAM; people from all walks of life including older adults on fixed incomes, individuals with disabilities, veterans, children & working families – all making difficult choices between heating or eating, medical & prescription bills or utility bills, and more…We urge our Connecticut and National leaders to please leverage additional relief for this critical, life-saving program.”

More than 33,000 applications for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program were approved between Sept. 1 and Nov. 4, according to the state Department of Social Services. That’s 23% higher than early November numbers last winter when the program went on to shatter the 100,000-household mark for the first time.

Sen. Kelly, along with Senate Republican legislators, propose increasing LIHEAP funds by $35.5 million to accommodate the increased demand and to expand benefits to more working and middle-class families expected to struggle to heat their homes this winter. Without additional funding, the most vulnerable Connecticut families face a 72% reduction in LIHEAP benefits from only two years ago.

Congress has only approved $72.1 million in LIHEAP assistance for Connecticut, a 16.5% reduction from last year’s level of assistance. Sen. Kelly wrote to President Biden and Congressional leadership last week to urge them to work in a bipartisan fashion to help Connecticut.

Sen. Kelly thanked the many community members who joined together to speak out and listen at today’s event, including the advocates at TEAM, Inc. and President and CEO David Morgan, Connecticut families, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, City of Ansonia Mayor David Cassetti, and other elected officials.

If you need winter energy assistance, you can apply for help online, by phone, by email, by mail, or in person at your local Community Action Agency (CAA). Click to learn how to apply.

Local Community Action Agencies in the 21st Senate District:

Alliance for Community Empowerment, Inc.
1070 Park Avenue
Bridgeport, CT 06604
(203) 366-8241 ext. 3991

TEAM, Inc.

30 Elizabeth Street
Derby, CT 06418
(203) 736-5420

*Sen. Kelly represents the 21st District of Stratford, Shelton, Seymour, and Monroe.