The Erie County Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Cooling Assistance component is available beginning May 1, 2017. The program will close on August 31, 2017, or earlier if funding is exhausted.
Eligible households will receive installation of one (1) window air conditioner, or a portable AC unit, if installation of a window unit is not feasible. All HEAP components are federally funded. The funding is limited, and cooling assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
Households that are eligible for HEAP Cooling Assistance include those that either received a 2016-17 HEAP benefit OR have income which does not exceed the 2016-17 maximum HEAP guidelines. Additionally, a medical need for cooling assistance could exist if at least one member of the household has a medical condition exacerbated by extreme heat. The medical condition must be clearly stated; documented in writing by a physician, physician's assistant, or nurse practitioner; and be dated within the last 12 months. Documentation older than 12 months may be used, if it provides sufficient information to indicate the medical condition is considered chronic.
Households that received HEAP Cooling Assistance within the last 10 years, or households with a working AC unit that is less than five years old, are not eligible. Households that have heating costs included in rent, and rent is subsidized (Section 8, Belmont, HUD, etc.) are also not eligible.
How do you apply?
Starting May 1, 2017, clients may apply at the HEAP office at 291 Pearl St., Buffalo, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. HEAP will also accept applications by mail. Clients may call the HEAP Application Request Line a 858-1969 for an application packet. Applications will be mailed beginning May 1, 2017.
Applicants will be provided a list of qualified contractors in the area who have a contract with New York State to install AC units. HEAP will notify the chosen vendor of program eligibility. The vendor will then contact the client to set up an appointment.
Additional information about HEAP Cooling, as well as other programs available with heat and electricity costs, furnace repair, or HEAP benefits following a seasonal closure, is available by calling the HEAP Hotline at 858-7644.
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