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NYS: $22 million to help vulnerable New Yorkers stay cool


Tue, Apr 16th 2024 04:20 pm

Air conditioning units support those with serious medical conditions, older adults, families with young children

√ Expected to serve more than 27,000 households this summer; applications now being accepted

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced $22 million is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) to help low-income New Yorkers stay cool during the summer. The program, overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), can provide an air conditioning unit to eligible households that include someone with a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat, or households with young children or older adults.

“As we see more severe heat during the summer months due to climate change, it’s vital that we recognize the significant health risks extreme heat poses for New Yorkers with certain medical conditions, as well as young children and seniors,” Hochul said. “This program helps at-risk households to stay safe and cool at home during severe heat spells, and I encourage those who may be eligible for this potentially life-saving assistance to apply before the summer arrives.”

Applications for cooling assistance through HEAP are now being accepted and will continue to be accepted through Saturday, Aug. 31, or until funding runs out. Cooling assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis. The program covers the cost of an air conditioning unit, or fan, and installation. More than 27,000 households are expected to receive cooling assistance this year.

To qualify for the federally funded program, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income thresholds, which vary by household size and include at least one member of the household who suffers from a medical condition aggravated by extreme heat, or is under age 6, or over age 60.

Congressman Joe Morelle said, “The Home Energy Assistance Program is a vital resource, helping thousands of New York families both heat and cool their homes throughout the year. I’m proud to have secured federal funds to support this important program, and I’m grateful to Gov. Hochul for her ongoing efforts to make these cost-saving benefits available to more New Yorkers. I encourage everyone who qualifies to enroll in this valuable program.”

New York State OTDA Acting Commissioner Barbara C. Guinn said, “This program provides air conditioners and fans for New Yorkers at high risk of heat-related illness to help them keep cool during the summer months. We encourage everyone who may be eligible to apply soon so that their air conditioner can be installed before we experience the worst of the hot weather.”

Hochul’s team said, “Last year, more than $17 million in HEAP funding was used to help over 21,000 households receive cooling assistance throughout New York state. Nearly 67,000 households have benefited from the program over the past five years.”

Residents outside of New York City may apply by contacting their local department of social services by phone or in person. New York City residents may apply in person at a local Human Resources Administration (HRA) benefit access center, by phone, or online at access.nyc.gov.

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