Michigan gets $15M in federal aid for home heating and cooling

Riley Beggin
The Detroit News

Washington — Michigan has received an additional $15.5 million in federal aid for heating and cooling low-income households. 

That's on top of $384.7 million awarded to the state earlier this year, the White House said Thursday, making the total $403 million allocation the largest single-year investment since the program was established in 1981 and more than double what the state would typically be allocated in a non-pandemic year. 

The allocation includes supplemental funding from the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief plan signed into law in March 2021 and its annual funding as a part of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). 

In Michigan, LIHEAP is administered by the state Department of Health and Human Services. For the previous year, the state had received $146 million in federal LIHEAP funds.

The program helps cover past-due household energy bills for qualifying low-income families, provides home heating credits to low-income residents, as well as weatherization services or repairs. It also funds the "Heat and Eat" program that increases food assistance benefits for some renters, according to MDHHS. 

The coronavirus aid package also provided $21.5 billion nationwide for emergency rental assistance to help families pay past-due utility bills or other home energy costs. The U.S. Treasury Department is also working to distribute $9.8 billion in funding for the Homeowners Assistance Fund, which also includes utility assistance, the White House said. 

rbeggin@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @rbeggin

Staff Writer Melissa Nann-Burke contributed.