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HEAP to Help Older New Yorkers Stay Cool


The state is making $15 million available through the Home Energy Assistance Program to help vulnerable, low-income New Yorkers without air conditioning stay cool during the summer. Overseen by the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, the program can provide an air conditioner to eligible households that include someone who has a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat, households with young children, or older adults.

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 that suffers from a medical condition worsened by extreme heat, is under age 6, or is over age 60. For example, a household of four can earn up to $65,829 a year, or $5,485 per month, and still qualify for assistance.

“The cooling assistance program is a vital lifeline for countless New York families who often face prohibitively expensive cooling costs when temperatures inevitably rise,” Governor Hochul said. “As temperatures rise across the state, we are committed to ensuring that low-income and disadvantaged households have the means to stay safe, comfortable, and cool in their own homes.”

The program covers the cost of an air conditioning unit and installation. Up to 18,500 households are expected to be served throughout the state.

Applications for cooling assistance will be accepted starting Monday, May 1, through August 31, or until funding runs out. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.

Last year, for the first time, eligibility for cooling assistance was expanded by dropping the medical requirement and more than 23,500 households received assistance. Eligibility requirements were adjusted again this year to prioritize serving the most vulnerable households – those that include someone with a medical condition exacerbated by heat, young children, or older adults.

More than 54,000 households throughout New York have benefitted from cooling assistance over the past five years.

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