Individuals with Heat-Related Health Issues May Be Eligible to Receive Air Conditioners
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that $3 million is available for individuals with serious health issues to receive assistance to purchase air conditioners. Federal funding secured by the state will help New Yorkers with health issues that may be aggravated by extreme heat by providing cooling assistance through the Home Energy Assistance Program. Individuals eligible for assistance can apply at their local department of social services beginning May 1.
"The summer heat can become an issue of life and death for some of our most vulnerable New Yorkers and this funding will help ensure they will be able to remain safe and cool during the height of this season," Governor Cuomo said. "By ensuring men, women and children of all ages are protected from the dangers of hot and humid weather, this critical funding will support a stronger, healthier New York for all."
The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, which oversees the program, has set aside $3 million in federal funding to provide installation and air conditioning units to eligible households. Last summer, nearly 5,000 households received assistance.
To qualify, applicants must meet existing HEAP 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. Households that already have a working air conditioner less than five years old, and households that have received a HEAP-funded air conditioner within the past 10 years, are not eligible.
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, "This program is targeted at those who are at high risk in heat emergencies, but do not have an air conditioner or the means to purchase one. It’s important that anyone who may be eligible apply before the summer heat arrives."
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter said, "I have always fought for federal funding for this important program so that people across our region can prepare for dangerously hot summer weather. The Trump Administration’s proposal to eliminate this program is as shortsighted as it is dangerous for many in our community. Support to help those with medical conditions as summer approaches is proof of the important work this program does locally. It’s also a reminder of why I will continue to fight to fund this program in the years ahead."
Congressman Eliot Engel said, "As we head into the warmer summer months, extreme heat can become a real issue for seniors and other vulnerable New Yorkers. The HEAP program has done a wonderful job of helping New Yorkers beat the heat, and this $3 million commitment should only serve to strengthen the program. I encourage all eligible New Yorkers to look into applying for this critical assistance."
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "Anyone who has spent a summer in New York City knows how high temperatures can aggravate health problems. During this time of the year, people are also more vulnerable to suffering heat-related health issues. This federal funding will help low-income individuals who can't afford air conditioners to purchase and install cooling units at home to prevent heat induced health complications or even death. I applaud Governor Cuomo's efforts to use this funding to help our most vulnerable New Yorkers, including many of my constituents in the Bronx."
Congressman Joe Crowley said, "We all know the blistering heat the summer months can bring, and with the season just around the corner we need to think of the most vulnerable amongst us and make sure they’re prepared. The federal dollars that provide this cooling assistance will go a long way toward protecting those New Yorkers with certain medical conditions made worse by the extreme heat. I thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance for making these funds available."
Congressman Paul Tonko said, "Our weather continues to oscillate more frequently from one extreme to another. Today's announcement by Governor Cuomo recognizes that the most vulnerable among us feel these impacts in the biggest way. Delivering this funding from Washington to New York helps ensure our neighbors in need are protected against extreme heat. I am proud to help lead the fight year after year for HEAP and other energy security funding."
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, "As most New Yorkers know well extreme heat during the summer can not only be uncomfortable but it can be dangerous for folks with serious health problems – especially for those without air conditioning. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for making cooling assistance available to New Yorkers – this investment is critical to the health and safety of our neighbors over the next couple of extremely hot months."
Congresswoman Grace Meng said, “Cooling assistance through the HEAP program is critical for New Yorkers whose health problems can be aggravated by high temperatures during the summer. I encourage those who are eligible to apply, and I thank the Governor for announcing these important funds. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have fought for the $3.4 billion in LIHEAP funds that was included in the Omnibus spending bill. We must keep up the fight to safeguard this vital money.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, "It's critical that we provide resources for our most vulnerable, which is why I am a strong supporter of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program in Congress. This funding is an important opportunity for those with health issues made worse by heat exposure to get access to cooling systems ahead of the summer months, and I encourage those in need in my district to apply."
Congressman Adriano Espaillat said, "Seniors are particularly susceptible to heat related health issues such as stroke, heat exhaustion, and even death. As summer is fast approaching and temperatures rise, today's announcement comes at a significant time for New York seniors, particularly those living with medical conditions that may exacerbate with extreme heat. The cooling assistance made possible through the HEAP program will have a tremendous impact on seniors in eligible households throughout New York."
Congressman Claudia Tenney said, "For a number of families and seniors throughout the 22nd District, HEAP is a vital program that many have come to reply on to help with the cost of energy. Today, I am pleased to see the program extended to provide air conditioning service to New Yorkers who struggle with heat-related health issues."