Chautauqua Opportunities announced funding remains available for low-income Chautauqua County residents whose health issues pose a medical emergency during the extended period of hot weather forecasted for the area in the coming days. The funding is provided through New York State Homes and Community Renewal.
"The late spring and early summer have already brought several heat waves, which can be life-and-death matters for New Yorkers with serious medical conditions," Governor Cuomo said. "Senior citizens and children are especially susceptible to heat-related illness, and this initiative will provide low-income homes with much-needed air conditioners so that county residents have the assistance they need to stay cool and healthy."
In order to protect vulnerable New Yorkers, New York state has set aside $3 million in funding through the federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
"Summer heat can be dangerous for many New Yorkers," U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said. "I strongly urge eligible families and seniors to take advantage of this program to help keep their homes safe and comfortable. As this heat wave moves across New York, it's absolutely essential that seniors aren't put at risk because they can't afford to keep their homes cool."
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 $49,500.)
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 HCR with funding provided from the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) funds, through the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). Chautauqua Opportunities will provide delivery and installation of cooling program services in Chautauqua County.
COI determines eligibility and oversees the installation of the air-conditioning units. Under the terms of the grant, one air conditioner will be awarded to an eligible household or dwelling unit, with installation and labor included. Grants do not include an additional HEAP cash benefit to cover the cost of operating the air conditioning unit.
For information on how to apply for this service, county residents are asked to contact a COI navigator at (716) 664-9430 in Jamestown and (716) 366-8176 in Dunkirk.