Free air conditioners from the HEAP Cooling Assistance program!

April 29, 2016

Dear Friends,

I know it’s been chilly lately, but summer will be here before we know it – and with summer comes the HEAP Cooling Assistance Program!

As I did last year, I’d like to lay out for you the process by which your clients may apply for this helpful program, which begins on Monday, May 2, and continues only until the money runs out. So your eligible clients should apply right away.

General Information

The HEAP Cooling Assistance program provides for the purchase and installation of air conditioners or a fan to eligible households. (If an air conditioner cannot be safely installed, a fan will be provided.) Only one air conditioner or fan, not to exceed $800 with installation, will be provided per dwelling.

A household may be eligible for a Cooling Assistance program benefit if:

  • The applicant and household members are United States Citizens or qualified aliens, and the household includes an individual with a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by heat AND
    • The household's gross monthly income is at or below the current income guides for the household size (click here for the guidelines)
    • The applicant receives:
      • SNAP benefits or
      • Temporary Assistance or
      • SSI or
      • a regular benefit greater than $21 in the current heating season
    • The applicant currently does not have a working air conditioner or the air conditioner s/he has is five years old or older; and
    • The applicant did not receive a HEAP funded air conditioner within the past ten years.

The application process is largely the same as it was last year, except that, thankfully, applicants this year do not need to choose an installation vendor.

The general guidelines are:

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

Click here for the 2-pp. Cooling Assistance Application.

Click here for the full HEAP application.

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 (please do NOT mail applications to VOLS):

HRA/Home Energy Assistance Program
PO BOX NO. 1401
Church Street Station
New York NY 10008

Other important information!

Please note these other important items:

  • 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.

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,