NEW YORK STATE (WWTI) — New York has expanded eligibility requirements for its cooling assistance program. Under the direction of Governor Kathy Hochul, the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance expanded the eligibility for a cooling component in the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which will now cover the cost of air conditioning units and installation.

According to Governor Kathy Hochul, $15 million is now available through HEAP to provide air conditioners to low-income families and individuals. This is expected to serve up to 20,000 households throughout New York.

“For too many New Yorkers, relief from the stifling heat that summer brings each year is prohibitively expensive,” said Governor Hochul. “By expanding the eligibility guidelines for cooling assistance, we can help ensure that more low-income and disadvantaged households have the means to stay comfortable and safe when temperatures inevitably rise.” 

To qualify for cooling assistance, applicants must meet HEAP eligibility criteria and income threshold, which vary by household size. Regular HEAP Benefit amounts are listed below:

Base Benefit AmountLiving Situation
$21Eligible households that live in government-subsidized housing or a group home setting with heat included in their rent.
$45 or $50Eligible households who have heating costs included as part of their rent.
$675 + applicable add-onsEligible households whose primary heat is oil, kerosene, or propane and who make direct payments to the vendor for heating costs.
$525 + applicable add-onsEligible households whose primary heat is wood, wood pellets, coal, corn, or other deliverable fuel and who make direct payments to the vendor for heating costs.
$350 + applicable add-onsEligible households whose primary heat is electricity or natural gas and who make direct payments based on their household’s actual usage to the vendor.

Applications for cooling assistance will be accepted at your local department of social services from May 2 to August 31. Assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis.