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HEAP cooling program now open

Not looking forward to a summer without air conditioning? How does a free air conditioner sound to you? The  Home Energy Assistance Program's Cooling Assistance Program is now open. Under the federally-funded HEAP program, income-eligible households with at least one member having a documented medical condition can have an window air conditioner installed for free.“It shouldn’t be much longer until the warmer weather arrives and, with that in mind, I strongly encourage all eligible residents who might need air conditioning to act as soon as possible to get involved in the HEAP Cooling Assistance Program,” said Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “The funding for the program is limited and the assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, so the time to act is now.”

All residents who meet eligibility requirements may apply at the HEAP office, located at 291 Pearl Street in Buffalo, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. weekdays. Applications may also be mailed.

Approved households will be provided with a list of qualified area contractors who are contracted with New York State to install air conditioning units. HEAP will notify the chosen vendor of program eligibility and the vendor will coordinate the set up appointment with residents.

Households that have received HEAP cooling assistance within the last 10 years or households with a working air conditioning unit that is less than five years old are not eligible. Residents are encouraged to call the HEAP Application Request Line at 858-1969 for an application package.