Free air conditioners may be offered to low income residents in New York City. Most of the assistance is offered to individuals with medical conditions as part of the federal government HEAP program. Funds are limited, and the program will often “close” during the late summer. So apply early if you are qualified. In addition to the HEAP program, Medicaid also may sometimes pay for an air conditioner.
Air conditioners from the HEAP program are available in very limited supplies to low-income people who live across New York City that have an ongoing medical condition made worse by the extreme heat that NYC can be known for. The application period will normally run from June to August (or until funding runs out), whichever comes first. As noted, other resources or program may also some pay for air conditioners. These other options can include Medicaid , Catholic Charities or the Salvation Army.
There are a number of income restrictions that need to be met by applicants. These will include strict income requirements that is based on the number of people that live in a household. To get more information on these eligibility criteria please dial 1-800-342-3009. In addition to the income qualifications, an applicant will also need to have a written statement from a health care provider or doctor that documents that the patient is at risk for heat-related illness, and this particular form must also accompany the application.
People can’t receive multiple units and can’t continue to receive help from the program. Therefore households that currently have a working air conditioning unit that is less than 5 years old can’t receive another AC unit. In addition those that New York families that have received a HEAP funded air conditioner within the past 4 years can’t reapply and they will not be eligible for additional cooling bill assistance.
Another restriction is for households that reside in subsidized New York City housing. If their heating/cooling bills are included as part of their monthly rent, then free air conditioners will not be provided for those applicants.
New York City residents have a number of other options and resources available to them during the summer. For additional information about the New York City energy assistance programs, feel free to visit the Human Resources Administration website or call them at the number below.
There are several places that individuals can apply at. Families in New York City can apply at their local Human Resources Administration (HRA) office, and there are multiple locations around the city and each borough. The New York City Department for the Aging (DFTA) is not accepting applications for energy bill assistance, and all applications must be made at the individual’s local HRA office. All applications need to be made in person, accept for the homebound.
After applying, if the family is not eligible or if there are no other air conditioners available, the New York City resident can turn to a charity such as the Salvation Army. Dozens of them are in the city. They provide assistance in an effort to keep senior citizens and the low income cool during the summer. Find charities that offer air conditioners.
If the resident is home bound, then she or he can call their local HRA info Line. That phone number is 1-877-472-8411. If you request an application for a free air conditioner over the phone, then after you complete it the application will need to be mailed to the following address, which is HEAP, PO Box 1401, Church Street Station, New York NY 10008.
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