Along with the high temperatures that visit us this time of year, funds have been made available to help New Yorkers with serious medical conditions to beat the heat. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The timing was just right - on Friday, as the mercury hit the 90s, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that certain low-income New Yorkers with particular medical conditions can receive free air conditioners from the state.
The program is being launched through the Annual Cooling Initiative directed by New York State Homes and Community Renewal. The program is funded with $3 million from HEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Delivery and installation services will be handled by the agency's network of 63 local weatherization agencies.
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill says the program will help low income residents who may be at risk of a medical emergency during the hot summer months.
County-to-county, the air conditioners available are limited in number The formula for determining how many units go where is driven by the low income population in any given county as determined by the US census -
Butch Lawyer is the director at the Weatherization Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension in Albany. He notes that there are around 60 ac units available in Albany County - Ulster County has 28 air conditioners available, but a spokeswoman says they've already had 50 calls today.
Questions regarding the HEAP program should be directed to local providers listed above or the NYS HEAP Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.
Those who want to see if they qualify under HEAP’s income guidelines should visit www.mybenefits.ny.gov