Free air conditioners via HEAP cooling assistance!

May 13, 2015

Dear Friends,

After several conversations with the office of the Director of the HEAP program, I am pleased to be able to provide what I believe is definitive information on how one may go about applying for the cooling assistance benefit, which became available as of May 1.

Which application(s) must an applicant submit?

If the applicant received HEAP this past winter OR receives SNAP benefits, the applicant may submit the simple 2-pp. Cooling Assistance Application along with: a) a medical note; and b) the Vendor List.  (See below for a link to this list.)

All other applicants must submit the 2-pp. Cooling Assistance Application AND the full 5-pp. HEAP application, along with the medical note, Vendor List, and other required documentation.  (See below for instructions.)  Again, these applicants must submit BOTH applications.

Where can applicants obtain the necessary forms and information?

The HEAP office was unable to locate for me a web link to any of the required forms except the short form (even though HRA staff insisted to me that everything is available online).  But I have assembled them for you here:

Click here for the 2-pp. Cooling Assistance Application.
Click here for the full HEAP application.
Click here for the Vendor List.
Click here for HRA's instructions for applicants already receiving HEAP or SNAP benefits.
Click here for HRA's instructions for applicants NOT already receiving HEAP or SNAP benefits.

Where should applications be mailed?

Here is the mailing address for all applications:

HRA/HEAP
P.O. Box 1401
Church Street Station
New York, NY 10008

Other important information!

Please note these other important items:

  • All applicants must make a mark on the Vendor List next to their choice of vendor (the vendor is company/organization that will install the cooling equipment).  Applicants may simply choose the vendor nearest their home.
  • If HRA receives an application that is missing information or is otherwise problematic, I am told that HRA will place the application in "pending" status and will telephone the applicant.  If the applicant would like HRA to contact someone else, like a social worker, about the application, the applicant should write this on a Post-it and place the Post-it on the front of the application.  Note, however, that the long-form HEAP application has on its p. 4 a section where an "Authorized Representative" may be named.  Applicants submitting only the short-form application do not have this option.
  • If you want to speak with someone at HRA about any of this, call (212) 835-7216.  Do NOT call the HRA Infoline, which I have learned is fulfilling requests for blank applications by mailing out incomplete document packages and misleading information.  (For example, they're sending out lists of HEAP centers, all of which are closed for the winter!) I have alerted the HEAP Director's office to this problem and am told that they will follow up.

Please feel free to get in touch with me if you encounter any problems that staff at the HRA office number are not able to solve.  Good luck!

All the best,
Alex