Northern Cheyenne elders lose heating subsidy
LAME DEER, Mont –– Winter is hard for many on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation.
As temperatures plummet, electrical bills sky rocket, especially for those who live in poorly insulated HUD homes, most heated by electricity. And, winter heating is especially challenging for tribal elders on fixed incomes when temperatures often fall to 20 and even 30 below zero.
In the past, Northern Cheyenne tribal elders have found some relief from a subsidy provided by the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA), a program administered by local utilities; the federally funded Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP); Energy Share, a regional program funded by charitable donations and the Human Resources Development Corporation, Billings. Roughly 5,000 people live on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation where more than 500 households rely upon LIHEAP, serving the poorest of the poor, on very strict income guidelines, said Letha White Wolf, Tribal LIHEAP Director.