Thousands of N.H. Families Could Be Left Without Heat Under Trump Budget

Mar 17, 2017

Among the proposed cuts in President Trump's budget plan is a home heating assistance program that provides help to nearly 28,000 low-income New Hampshire residents.

Trump’s budget proposal calls the decades old Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program -or LIHEAP- ineffective.

But Tracy Desmarais, who works in the fuel assistance office for Hillsborough and Rockingham County,  says cutting this program would be “catastrophic.”  

“They would be making a choice between prescriptions and food or heat. They may be going to local welfare offices who don’t have the budget to withstand the extent to what they would need,” Desmarais said, who's office served 11,000 households so far this winter.

LIHEAP relies entirely on federal money. Last year New Hampshire received $26 million for fuel assistance –  a fifty percent drop from eight years ago. On average those under the program in N.H. receives $646 a year, which ranges from $75 to just over $1,000.