Federal officials Thursday released 100-million dollars in emergency funds to states to help families in need pay their heating bills. Bill Brand with the Iowa Department of Human Rights says Iowa is getting a chunk of the money, just over two-million dollars, to help people with their winter energy bills. Brand says the waiting list is long and the money is important.
He says it’s welcome news to get the money — but he says it still leaves the state short of the money it had one year ago. Brand says higher energy prices make it tough to stay up with the need. Brand says one year ago they had about 38-point-seven million dollars available, and with this money they’ll get up to about 38-point-three million for this year. He says that doesn’t take into account the nearly 50-percent increase in energy costs this year.
Brand says they’re still hoping Congress will approve some supplemental money for the heating assistance program this year to help them make up the shortfall.