The Need to Support Low-Income Families this Winter

The Need to Support Low-Income Families this Winter

As we head into the winter season, one of the looming issues that remains top of mind for residents is the anticipated cost increase of fuel, gas and electricity used in heating homes across Massachusetts. Recently, National Gridwarned that a typical residential electric customer’s bill could increase by 64 percent, nearing $300. Eversource also sounded a similar alarm. Largely a consequence of the War in Ukraine, costs for obtaining gas have skyrocketed and subsequently created a natural gas shortage in Europe that is greatly impacting supply in the United States.

Rising costs will have a particularly harmful impact on low-income families across the state. As expressed by our newly elected Governor of Massachusetts, Maura Healey, the increase will be “devastating for hundreds of thousands of customers in Massachusetts who simply cannot afford it.”

While local lawmakers are actively seeking more federal funds for energy assistance to support low-income households, it is crucial that we make residents aware of the current resources available to them. Although there is much more to be done to mitigate the burden of heating homes this winter, here are assistance programs providing financial aid to residents for fuel and electrical costs:

In response to the pandemic, Mayor Wu’s Administration created the rental relief fund to offer financial support to residents at risk of losing their housing due to the financial implications of a COVID-19 economy. With the Administration’s recent Executive Order to Streamline Approval of Affordable Housing, we hope the governing structure will emphasize the importance of providing utility support in addition to rent stability.

As a leading provider of affordable housing for low-income families throughout Greater Boston, IBA strives to offer innovative solutions across our portfolio. We believe that providing access to utility support goes hand in hand with what true affordable housing is, which is why our residents don’t pay outside costs for heating. Only by granting this level of home security can our residents have stability, mobility, and community wellbeing.

IBA is committed to working with our partners throughout the Commonwealth to increase homeownership and create more affordable housing opportunities. As we welcome this new Administration, IBA looks forward to collaborating with community leaders and developing more equitable resources for low-income households.

To learn more about our organization and how to support our programs, please visit our website here.