A total of $3 million is available to help New Yorkers suffering from serious health issues that are aggravated by extreme heat purchase an air conditioner. Individuals can apply now for cooling assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program at their local department of social services.
"When the heat and humidity of summer arrives, it's important that vulnerable New Yorkers are able to stay safe and comfortable in their homes," Governor Cuomo said. "I encourage anyone with a medical condition that is worsened by high temperatures to apply now, so an air conditioner can be installed before the first heat wave hits."
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which oversees the program, has set aside $3 million in federal funding to provide an air conditioning unit or fan, to eligible households. Last year, 4,000 households received cooling assistance.
To qualify, applicants must meet existing HEAP eligibility criteria and income guidelines, which vary by household size, and have at least one member of the household that suffers from a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat. For example, a household of four can earn up to $53,482 a year or $4,457 a month, and still qualify for assistance.
Cooling assistance will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Local Departments of Social Services will accept applications through August 31, or until funding runs out.
Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "We know that for some of our fellow New Yorkers, the summertime heat can pose a grave risk and this assistance could be potentially lifesaving. But it is vital that anyone who may be eligible, but does not have an air conditioner or cannot afford to purchase one, apply as soon as possible."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, "Summers are getting hotter and the threat posed by heat stroke, especially for seniors, cannot be understated. I applaud Governor Cuomo for supporting HEAP and I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to take advantage of this program."
Source: The Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo