Millions Go Without Heat

January 6, 2003

In the midst of winter, the Bush administration is planning to cut $300 million from the $1.7 billion federal program which provides heating subsidies for poor families.

The cut will mean that 438,000 fewer families will receive aid from the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which last year helped

4. 5 million families (more than 15 million people) keep the heat on during the winter months.

Across the country, millions of people have no heat whatsoever and millions more suffer from insufficient heat. In Chicago alone, People's Energy estimates that at least 10,000 of its customers have had their gas service shut off.

Last month, as Chicago residents came into the streets to demand heating assistance, a spokesperson for the South Austin Coalition, a community group, commented: "It's a grim situation. People are living in the cold, they're trying to get by with kerosene heaters and charcoal grills, electric heaters. There will be fires, hypothermia. Strictly from the perspective of low-income households, it's kind of a third-world situation."