New York Set to Give $22 Million in Free AC Units for Those Qualify for Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP)

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 Free AC Units
Eligible residents can receive one air conditioner, valued up to $800, including installation. For homes with existing wall-sleeve units, the program will cover costs up to $1,000. In cases where air conditioners cannot be safely installed, eligible applicants will receive a fan instead. File photo: ND700, ShutterStock.com, licensed.

NEW YORK, NY – With temperatures soaring into the 90s this week, New York State officials are reminding residents of a valuable program that provides free air conditioners to eligible individuals. As the summer’s first heat wave begins, the initiative aims to protect vulnerable populations from the dangers of extreme heat.

What is Provided?

Eligible residents can receive one air conditioner, valued up to $800, including installation. For homes with existing wall-sleeve units, the program will cover costs up to $1,000. In cases where air conditioners cannot be safely installed, eligible applicants will receive a fan instead.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify, individuals must have a gross monthly income below $3,035. For a household of four, the maximum gross monthly income is $4,904. Additional eligibility factors include receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, having a household member with a heat-sensitive medical condition, or having young children or seniors in the household. The complete list of qualifications can be found here.

Application Process

Residents can apply by phone, in person at designated community contact locations, or online at access.nyc.gov.

Funding Sources

The program is funded by the federal government, with funds routed through the state and distributed by the city’s Department of Social Services. Last year, approximately 10,000 air conditioners were distributed, according to Nicholas Jacobelli, the department’s deputy press secretary. This year, about $22 million has been allocated for the program.

Timing and Urgency

With predictions of a hotter-than-average summer, immediate action is encouraged. Meteorologist Joe Pollina from the National Weather Service confirms that the first heat wave of the season has already begun. Program administrators will determine eligibility within 30 days of application submission. The program will continue through the end of August or until funds are depleted, whichever comes first.

For more information, residents can call 311 or the state Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Hotline at 1-800-342-3009. Don’t wait to apply, as units are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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