State program that provides free air conditioners gets $9 million

Posted at 1:44 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 13:44:02-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — The New York State program that provides free air conditioners to households with a family member who has a medical condition that can be aggravated by extreme heat has been expanded.

The state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) announced Thursday the program has received an additional $9 million to help New Yorkers stay cool this summer amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The cooling assistance is provided through the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

Officials say the expansion of the program allows for the inclusion of families and individuals living in subsidized housing.

The deadline for New Yorkers to apply for the HEAP regular and emergency home heating benefit has been extended through the end of August as well.

You can apply for both cooling assistance and emergency HEAP by visiting your local social services office or by phone. You can find HEAP contacts in your area by visiting the state's website here. If you live outside of NYC you may also apply for regular heating assistance benefits here.

You must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income guidelines to qualify for these federally funded programs, you can find the criteria and income guidelines here.

"Households are ordinarily only eligible to receive one regular and one emergency HEAP benefit each winter. But earlier this year, a second emergency benefit, and then a third were made available to eligible households to meet rising demand," the state says.