Air Conditioners Available For Eligible Households With a Demonstrated Medical Need
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3 million is available to help New Yorkers who have medical conditions that can be aggravated by extreme heat to buy and install air conditioning. Eligible households can apply for cooling assistance through the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Home Energy Assistance Program beginning May 2.
"The heat and humidity during the height of the summer can be uncomfortable for some, but potentially life-threatening to others with medical conditions exacerbated by high temperatures," Governor Cuomo said. "This program will ensure that some of the most vulnerable New Yorkers can remain safe and cool in their homes when the summer weather is at its worst."
Cooling assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program is only available to those households which meet the program's income guidelines and include a member who suffers from a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat.
Last summer, more than 4,100 households received cooling assistance. A breakdown of the number of households that received cooling assistance last year, by region, is below:
Central New York
New York City
Western New York
New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts said, "It's important that anyone who may be eligible applies soon, so their air conditioning unit can be safely installed before the hot weather arrives. There's no reason for someone whose medical condition can be worsened by the heat to suffer through the summer when this help is available."
Congressman Charles B. Rangel said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo for his effort to help many New Yorkers who may not have the extra funds to afford air conditioning. Ensuring that those with heat-related health issues can cool off during the hot months is extremely vital. This money will go a long way in helping many families in our community get through the approaching summer heat."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, "As the weather heats up this summer, those who suffer from certain medical ailments will see their health issues exacerbated by the hotter weather. Expanding access to cooling assistance is a sensible way to help those at-risk individuals beat the heat, and I thank Governor Cuomo for committing $3 million to this project."
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey said, "We cannot let the dog days of summer become a health threat for vulnerable residents. I am proud to work with the Governor to secure federal resources that protect the health and safety of New Yorkers."
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo's efforts in securing this funding to provide cooling assistance for low-income New Yorkers. Anyone who has spent a summer in New York City knows it is a beautiful season to experience the city. However, summer is also the time of year when individuals with heat-related health issues suffer the most. This funding will go towards the purchase and installation of cooling units for low-income individuals who do not have central air conditioners. These units will help provide thousands of households with access to cool air this summer, giving individuals and families in our City the opportunity to live healthier lives."
Congressman Joe Crowley said, "With the summer months almost upon us, it's critical that we ensure our most vulnerable New Yorkers receive the cooling assistance they need. It's not just about their comfort, it’s about their safety. We all know extreme heat can pose life-threatening health risks especially for people with medical conditions and I applaud Governor Cuomo for making this funding a priority."
Congressman Steve Israel said, "As the summer nears, New Yorkers with health issues need access to this important program so they can stay safe during the peak summer heat. I applaud the state for making these funds available and encourage New Yorkers to take advantage of this potentially life-saving assistance."
Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke said, "This summer, families and individuals that are most vulnerable to heat related illnesses in New York City and State can look forward to assistance with keeping cool during the warmer months. The allocation of three million dollars in funding to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance's Home Energy Assistance Program will bring needed relief to those facing the greatest risk of succumbing to health related complications due to extreme heat and I applaud the leadership of the Cuomo administration for continuing to prioritize the needs of all New Yorkers."
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "Many in our communities continue to suffer through extreme spikes in temperature that exacerbate their medical conditions and put their lives at risk. I am pleased New York State continues to take the lead in providing our neighbors in the Capital Region and beyond with the ability to stay comfortable – even in the hottest of summer heat. I thank Governor Cuomo and his team for their work to help all New Yorkers endure the elements. I look forward to working with them on a federal level to continue providing cooling assistance to those who need it."
Congressman John Katko said, "As we move into the warm summer months, this funding will help ensure that seniors and families across Central New York are able to stay cool, safe, and healthy in their homes. I encourage folks who are eligible to apply for this important program."
Congresswoman Kathleen Rice said, "For thousands of people across New York, the extreme heat of summer doesn’t just cause discomfort, but can exacerbate serious medical conditions and pose life-threatening risks. For these New Yorkers, air conditioners are not a luxury – they are an absolute necessity, which is why I am so pleased that our state secured this critical funding to ensure that those who truly need air conditioners for medical purposes have access to them."
Applicants must provide medical documentation in writing, signed by a physician, physician's assistant or a nurse practitioner. The document must clearly indicate the need for an air conditioner and must be dated within the previous 12 months.
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, whichever comes first.
Information on where to apply in each county can be found here: http://otda.ny.gov/programs/heap/HEAP-contacts.pdf.