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State offers air conditioners for low income and at risk
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a plan to help low income New Yorkers with medical conditions receive an air conditioner and have it installed for free.
The initiative is based off of $3 million in funding Governor Cuomo has set aside through the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
In Herkimer and Oneida county, the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA) is taking applications, from residents and is encouraging anyone who doesn't already have a cool place in their home to apply.
"It's if your medical condition is exasperated by heat then we want to provide a safe space," says Ed Tato, Director of Housing at MVCAA. "And that's what its for, it's an emergency program for a safe space for someone with a medical condition."
Eligibility for the program is determined by low income guidelines (for a four person household, the maximum gross annual income to qualify is approximately $49,500), having at least one household member diagnosed with a medical condition aggravated by exposure to the heat, and a doctor providing written documentation that air conditioning assistance is critical to prevent a heat emergency.
Those who rent a home will have to have a Permission to Enter Building form filled out by his/her landlord for the installation.
"I think with the heat and the humidity clearly on the way and with the economy and seniors the way they are, there needs to be a way to ensure that discomfort doesn't become danger," says Tato. "I mean it's one thing to not be comfortable, but it's another for your health and your life to be endangered by the heat."
The MVCAA says their crews are ready to bring and install the air conditioner units to residents in need as soon as possible. To see if you qualify and for an application call MVCAA at (315) 624-9930 extension # 298.