(BROOKLYN, N.Y.) Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that $15 million is available through the Home Energy Assistance Program to offer cooling assistance to applicants that meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income thresholds, which have now been expanded.
Applications, which are first come, first served, will be accepted at local departments of social services starting Monday and run through Aug. 31 or when funding runs out. By expanding the eligibility, the program is expected to serve up to 20,000 households throughout the state, according to a release.
The program aims to help low-income individuals and families who lack air conditioning to stay cool during the upcoming summer months. The criteria varies by household and is determined by each household's maximum gross monthly income.
For example, a family of four may have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,249 (or less) or an annual gross income of $62,983 to qualify for cooling assistance through HEAP. Prior to this expansion, households had to meet the income requirements and contain an individual suffering from a documented medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat.
"For too many New Yorkers, relief from the stifling heat that summer brings each year is prohibitively expensive," Hochul said in a press release. "By expanding the eligibility guidelines for cooling assistance, we can help ensure that more low-income and disadvantaged households have the means to stay comfortable and safe when temperatures inevitably rise."
More information on cooling assistance and HEAP in general can be found here.