New York – Gov. David Paterson says New York will commit $49 million more to help low income families stay warm this winter.
Paterson says the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance plans to increase the maximum Home Energy Assistance Program grant to $800 per season from the previous $540 cap.
New York is also expanding eligibility for assistance, so a family of four with up to $45,312 in annual income can receive benefits.
Paterson says the changes will help families offset rising fuel costs, but a long-term solution is up to the Legislature.
The governor has also asked the federal government to increase heating assistance.
It was unclear how the state will pay for the increased aid.