On July 24, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released an anti-poverty proposal titled "Expanding Opportunity in America," which aims to consolidate up to 11 federal antipoverty programs into a single funding stream.
These 11 programs, which when folded together, Chairman Ryan calls an “Opportunity Grant” are intended for states that volunteer to participate. To do so, states would need to submit a plan to the federal government describing how the money would be allocated.
Of the 11 programs in the “Opportunity Grant,” two have strong linkages to the energy efficiency sector. These include:
1) The Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP)--provides grants to states, territories, and some Indian tribes to improve the energy efficiency of the homes of low-income families.
2) The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)--helps keep families safe and healthy through initiatives that assist families with energy costs.
The proposed plan will also include new work requirements and create more accountability and efficiency in assisting low-income Americans.