New York - Governor David A. Paterson today announced New York State residents who are susceptible to heat-related illnesses can apply for home air conditioners. Some of the state’s most vulnerable low-income residents, whose health problems can be exacerbated by heat emergencies, may be eligible for assistance this summer through a multi-agency cooling initiative that will make the air conditioners available.
The Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA), together with the Division of Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR) and the State Office for the Aging (SOFA) are sponsoring the program, which will allocate $2.4 million in federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funds for the purchase and installation of energy-efficient air conditioners to eligible individuals.
“In a typical year, about 400 Americans die from heat-related illness, and by simply providing an air conditioner, we can protect some of our most vulnerable residents,” said Governor Paterson. “Typically, it is the elderly who are disproportionately affected by heat-waves, and New York needs to do what it can to protect them. The last HEAP cooling initiative in New York that was targeted to medically-needy households occurred nine years ago, so there is a real need for this program.”
To be eligible for the program, clients must meet existing HEAP income guidelines and have at least one member of the household that suffers from an acute medical condition that is exacerbated by extreme heat. Written documentation from a physician clearly indicating the need for an air conditioner is required and must be dated within the previous six months.
OTDA Commissioner David Hansell said: “Exposure to extreme heat can be deadly for those who suffer from certain medical conditions. This program is designed specifically as a health intervention, targeted for those who are at high risk in heat emergencies, but do not have an air conditioner or the resources to purchase one.”
ouseholds will not be eligible if they currently have a working air conditioner, or received one through a DHCR or New York State Energy Research and Development Authority funded initiative in the last 10 years.
Only one air conditioner will be provided per household or dwelling unit. Installation, labor and other measures designed to conserve energy, such as insulating the hot water heater and cleaning the refrigerator coil, will also be provided. Grants do not include an additional HEAP cash benefit to fund operation of the air conditioner.
For more information about the HEAP program, please visit http://www.otda.state.ny.us/main
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