The Obama administration on Thursday released an additional $454 million in home heating assistance, including more than $18 million for Massachusetts, to help low-income families keep warm through the winter.
Advocates for the poor had pressured the government in recent weeks to release the funds, which remained stuck in Washington even as temperatures in Massachusetts dropped into the single digits and needy families began to run out of aid. The state so far has received $140 million in federal heating aid this season.
Officials at Action for Boston Community Development, an agency that distributes heating assistance to residents in Boston, Brookline, and Newton, estimated the additional money will allow the 50,000 customers in the state who had exhausted their benefits to buy another 100 gallons of heating oil.
Still, John Drew, president of Action for Boston Community Development, said he would keep pressing state officials to supplement the federal money with another $20 million in heating assistance.
“I can’t let these guys off the hook,” Drew said. “If we can get the $20 million from the state, maybe we can get [customers] a couple hundred gallons of oil and get them through the winter.”
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