Air conditioners available for low income

— New York State will offer assistance for low income New Yorkers to stay cool during the upcoming heat wave as part of the Annual Cooling Initiative.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced assistance for low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecasted for the state in the coming days.

"The late spring and early summer have already brought several heat waves, which can be life-and-death matters for New Yorkers with serious medical conditions," Cuomo said. "Senior citizens and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, and this initiative will provide low-income homes with much-needed air conditioners so that New Yorkers have the assistance they need to stay cool and healthy."

New York State has set aside $3 million in funding through the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for situations like this.

"I strongly urge eligible families and seniors to take advantage of this program to help keep their homes safe and comfortable. As this heat wave moves across New York, it’s absolutely essential that seniors aren’t put at risk because they can't afford to keep their homes cool," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Eligibility for the program is determined by:

1) LIHEAP low-income guidelines. For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $49,500.

2) Having at least one household member who has been diagnosed with a chronic or acute medical condition which is aggravated by exposure to extreme heat situations.

3) A doctor providing written documentation, dated within the last six months, that air-conditioning assistance is critical to prevent a heat emergency.

Households that have a working air conditioner or have received one from the State in the last 10 years are not eligible.

The program is administered by HCR with funding provided from the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

Under the terms of the grant, one air conditioner will be awarded to an eligible household, with installation and labor included. Grants do not include an additional HEAP cash benefit to cover the cost of operating the air conditioning unit.

For more information call the Joint Cncl. for Economic Opportunity of Clinton & Franklin County at 561-6310.

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