Free air conditioners are offered to low income families with children, senior citizens, and disabled individuals. First State Community Action Agency administers the program as part of the LIHEAP service. They accept applications for a free window air conditioner and distribute the units to those who need help.
With a potentially hotter-than normal summer predicted across the state of Delaware, First State Community Action Agency is bringing back both its air conditioner and its Summer Cooling Program. Applicants need to also meet income eligibility requirements, however the program is focused on people 60 years or older, as well as the disabled or households with children. Individuals and families who fall into those guidelines are given priority.
Qualified individuals in Kent, New Castle or Sussex County can receive free window air conditioning units. Applications are usually accepted at First State's Georgetown office at 308 North Railroad Avenue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday through Friday. At the same time you apply for an AC unit, also get information on other energy assistance programs such as LIHEAP, which can provide financial aid for paying summer cooling bills. To be eligible for this particular program, residents must meet income eligibility requirements.
Some of the conditions include the following. Applicants can’t have received an air conditioner through the Summer Cooling Program within the last three years. Kent or Sussex residents who apply can be 60 or older, have an underlying medical condition or health problem that’s aggravated by the heat, or have children in their household. Community Development Specialists from First State community action agency take applications from residents in all three counties around the Delmarva area of Delaware. They can also provide advice on other government aid. All of the units are in great condition, and therefore the air conditioners will last at minimum for a few years before they have to be replaced.
First State Community Action of Delaware says the rule about people not being eligible for the program if they have received air conditioners within the last three years is in place so the agency can reach as many lower income and needy households in need as it can.
With the still weak economy, a number of people have been struggling to pay their bills and stay cool during the summer. First State Community Action has been seeing an increasing demand from residents seeking assistance with their cooling bills and air conditioning units through the Summer Cooling Program. Due to the demand, there may be other government benefits as well as non-profit agencies that can assist. They range from thrift stores to regional community action agencies, all of which may provide air conditioners for free to working poor households.
The non-profit agency is doing everything it can to help prevent senior citizens and others with health conditions that die of heatstroke in their homes because of a lack of an air conditioning unit. Children also can suffer during the summer, so another key focus is on helping lower income families with children.
To apply for a unit, or for additional information about the Summer Cooling Program or air conditioners, and to find out if your household may be eligible for a unit, call First State Community Action at (302) 856-7761.
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