Senator Collins Receives National Award for Strong Support of LIHEAP

Click HERE for a high-resolution photo of Senator Collins with Genevieve Soucy, Kyme Ferenc, and Daniel Drost of Maine State Housing Authority


Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins was honored at the National Energy Assistance Directors Association’s (NEADA) annual Winter Meeting for her work to support the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  LIHEAP is a federal program that provides formula grants to states to help low-income families pay their heating and cooling bills.  Following her remarks, Senator Collins participated in a Q&A with State LIHEAP Directors and representatives from approximately 30 states. 


Representatives from the Maine State Housing Authority (MaineHousing) at the meeting included Fiscal Officer Genevieve Soucy, Program Compliance Officer Kyme Ferenc, and Director of Energy and Housing Services Daniel Drost.


“Robust funding for LIHEAP helps ensure that low-income families and seniors do not have to make the impossible choice between paying for heat and paying for food or medicine,” said Senator Collins.  “I appreciate this recognition, and I thank the state LIHEAP programs throughout the country, including MaineHousing, for the work that they do at the state level to ensure that these critical funds are distributed fairly and efficiently to our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”  


As a member of the Appropriations Committee, preserving funding for LIHEAP and the Weatherization Assistance Program is a priority for Senator Collins.  She has worked to block attempts to pare back the funding appropriated for these critical programs.  Following her strong advocacy, the fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education funding bill that was signed into law last September included nearly $3.7 billion – a $50 million increase – for LIHEAP.  Last October, Senator Collins wrote a letter to Secretary Alex Azar urging the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to release funds for LIHEAP as quickly as possible.


MaineHousing is an independent authority created by the Maine State Legislature in 1969 to address problems of unsafe, unsuitable, overcrowded, and unaffordable housing.  The agency couples the efficiencies of the private financial markets with public purpose goals to provide affordable home ownership and rental housing opportunities for Maine people.  MaineHousing administers a number of federal housing-related programs, including LIHEAP. 


NEADA is the primary educational and policy organization for the state directors of LIHEAP.