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Homes and Community Renewal

Commissioner Towns Announces Air Conditioners Available for Low-Income New Yorkers with Serious Medical Conditions At Risk During a Heat Wave

New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner/CEO Darryl C. Towns today announced assistance for low-income New Yorkers whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecast for the state in the coming days.

"A heat wave is a life and death matter for some New Yorkers with serious underlying medical issues," Commissioner Towns said. "Senior citizens and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, and it is important that our most vulnerable know what government is doing to protect them."

"Beating the heat shouldn't break the bank for New Yorkers," said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. "I strongly urge eligible families and seniors to take advantage of this program to help lower the costs of cooling their home. As this record breaking heat wave moves across New York, it's absolutely essential that seniors aren't faced with the choice of cooling their home or putting food on the table."

In order to protect vulnerable New Yorkers, New York State has set aside $3 million in funding through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) that will provide air conditioning units for more than 3,700 households.

Eligibility for the program is determined by:

1) LIHEAP low-income guidelines. (For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $48,000.)

2) Having at least one household member who has been diagnosed with a chronic or acute medical condition which is aggravated by exposure to extreme heat situations.

3) A doctor providing written documentation (dated within the last six months) that air-conditioning assistance is critical to prevent a heat emergency.

Households that have a working air conditioner or have received one from the State in the last 10 years are not eligible.

The cooling program is administered by NYS Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) with funding provided from the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funds, through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

HCR issued a Request for Proposals to solicit vendors to administer the cooling program on the local level. Twenty-four awardees were selected from across the state, with awards ranging from $1.75 million to serve all of New York City to $5,000 to provide services in smaller Upstate counties.

Under the terms of the grant, one air conditioner will be awarded to an eligible household or dwelling unit; installation and labor are included. Grants do not include an additional HEAP cash benefit to cover the cost of operating the air conditioning unit.

The full list of local cooling program administrators includes:

NYS Homes and Community Renewal
Emergency Cooling Program County Coverage
Vendor Counties Served Award Contact Name Contact Phone #
Action for a Better Community Inc.Monroe$100,000Shinita Hlywa585-442-4160
Albany Community Action PartnershipRensselaer$20,000Rachel Greenberg518-463-3175
ext 139
Bronx Shepherds Restoration Corp. Putnam, Rockland, Westchester$125,000Ileana Ferman718-299-0500
ext 129
Catholic CharitiesOnondaga, Oswego$125,000Eleanor Carr315-424-1810
Cattaraugus Community Action Inc.Allegany$10,000Ken Tomczak716-945-1041
ext 147
Climate Controllers HVACLivingston$10,000Cheryl Hauff585-226-2474
Columbia Opportunities Inc.Columbia$10,000Sophie Lalumia518-828-4611
ComLinksClinton, Essex, Franklin$30,000Mary Ann Durham518-483-1261
ext 1031
Community Action of Orleans and GeneseeGenesee, Orleans$14,500James Soccio585-589-5605
Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson CountyJefferson$15,000Ken Flint315-788-4388
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany CountyAlbany$47,500Sherri Calabrese518-765-3535
Delaware Opportunities Inc.Delaware, Sullivan$22,500Joe Maggiore607-746-1690
Fulmont Community Action Agency Inc.Fulton, Montgomery$19,000Kimberley Andrews518-853-8359
Gene's Heating and Air ConditioningSteuben$14,500Gene Rose607-937-3710
Lewis County OpportunitiesLewis$10,000Jolynne Brinkley315-376-8202
ext 242
Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency, Inc.Herkimer, Oneida$20,000Kristen Brown315-624-9930
ext 298
New Buffalo ImpactCattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, Wyoming$235,000Brian Paterson716-881-1477
North East Home ImprovementDutchess, Greene, Orange, Ulster$122,500Jackie Chapman845-452-5104
ext 103 or ext 108
ProAction of Steuben and Yates Inc.Yates$5,000Laurie Mault607-776-2125
Saratoga County EOC Inc.Saratoga, Schenectady, Washington$60,000Missy Palmateer518-587-3158
Schoharie County Community Action Program Inc.Otsego, Schoharie$14,750Kelly Pitt518-234-2568
St Lawrence County Community Development Program, Inc.St Lawrence$14,750Gerald Snell, Jr315-386-1102
Stoneleigh Housing Inc.Madison$10,000David Trexler315-697-3737
Tioga Opportunities Inc.Broome, Chenango, Tioga$60,000Kristen Severi607-687-0944
ext 310
ext 310
Tompkins Community ActionCayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Seneca, Tompkins$77,500Stacey Murphy607-273-8816
Warren-Hamilton Counties CAAHamilton, Warren$10,000Andy Pritchard518-793-0636
Wayne County Action Program Inc.Ontario, Wayne$22,500Steven Watrous315-483-8761

Questions regarding HEAP program should be directed to local agencies 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

Last Updated: 07/29/2011