The Minnesota Valley Action Council loses more than five percent of it's funding from the Federal Low Income Energy Assistance Program. But MVAC says it could have been much worse. Every winter MVAC helps thousands of people pay their home heating and energy bills. The non–profit was at risk of losing up to 10 percent of its funds. Housing Services Director Judd Schultz says he's grateful for the smaller than expected cut but even without the cut they can't help everybody. Schultz says, "With the current poverty statistics out and the rise of poverty in the region just exacerbates that situation, so there is never enough money to fulfill all the need."
The best we can do is we help as many people as we can. He says the five percent cut could affect as many as 500 households. This year, MVAC has received more than five thousand applications for this assistance. Nationwide an estimated nearly 7 million households rely on the energy assistance program to keep their homes warm.