HEAP Program Helps With Cooling Costs

Jul 17, 2013

The HEAP Summer Crisis Program is now underway in Ohio, helping low-income residents who have a family member over the age of 60 in their home or who have a documented medical condition pay their electricity bills.

Summer Blakeny with the Mahoning Youngstown Community Action Partnership: 

SB: We're probably gonna have a hotter summer than we did last year, which was pretty intense.  And we have our mature population who are in their homes, and their blood pressure is rising, or they're living with... We just want to do what we can to keep you healthy.   

The program provides a one-time benefit up to 175 dollars toward the purchase of an air conditioner or fan, or to be put toward an electric bill. To qualify, households must have a gross annual income at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines, which is 40-thousand dollars for a family of four. Blakeny says each year she's always surprised at the number of people who did not know about the program or that they can benefit from it.

SB: there are some who have had job losses, and they have different income level than they did a couple of years ago.  and they didn't know that this type of assistance was available to them, based on their new situation. 

The program runs through August 31st. Those interested in participating should contact their local community action agency or call the Ohio Development Services Agency.