The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will be releasing over $325 million in heating and home energy assistance funds for 2017.

Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand announced the funding today, as part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program that provides help to low income households and seniors with their energy bills.

Schumer says without these resources, households nationwide may have been subject to cuts in federal heating aid this winter.

"Hundreds of thousands of fixed-income seniors and low-to-moderate-income New Yorkers rely on LIHEAP funding to help pay for the home heating costs that have become a larger and larger share of their budget," Schumer said. "With winter fast approaching, this $325 million federal investment will help New York's most vulnerable cover their high energy costs, meaning fewer people will have to make the agonizing decision over whether to pay energy bills or put food on the table."

New York State has received over $300 million in LIHEAP funding each fiscal year for the past eight years.

"This necessary funding will help keep more than one million New Yorkers warm this winter," Gillibrand said. "No family in our state should ever be left behind in the cold in their home. This first installment is crucial for families throughout the state who have braved through recent storms and frigid temperatures to have the resources they need to stay warm throughout the winter."

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