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IN provides funds for LIHEAP

Money from mortgage lenders acquired in a settlement will be used to help low income Hoosiers pay their utility bills. The revenue stream is a result of the state's investigation of five banks  accused of foreclosure abuse.

During this past session, the General Assembly put more than $28 million of the settlement pool into a fund dedicated to the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Attorney General Greg Zoeller says this plan makes the best out of an unfortunate situation.

“The ability to find some immediate relief for people that are having trouble with their mortgage and at the same time trouble paying their utility bills.”

Indiana Energy Association president Stan Pinegar says the program provides stability.

“This is not a one-year shot.  It’s projected that this program will last at least six years, maybe longer.”

Lawmakers say the settlement money will be key as the federal government continues to reduce LIHEAP dollars. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.