NY accepting applications for home heating aid this winter

Posted 2 November 2020 at 1:40 pm

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that more than $328 million in home heating aid is now available for low- and middle-income New Yorkers who need assistance keeping their homes warm during the coming winter season.

Applications are now being accepted for the Home Energy Assistance Program, which provides federal funding to assist homeowners and renters with their heating costs during the cold weather months.

“Cold weather brings yet another challenge for many New Yorkers already struggling to make ends meet during this unprecedented pandemic,” Governor Cuomo said. “This critical funding will help hundreds of thousands of them manage the cost of heating their homes and apartments as autumn brings in cooler temperatures and winter approaches.”

Eligible homeowners and renters may receive assistance of up to $741 from HEAP, overseen by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, depending on income, household size and how they heat their home. A family of four may have a maximum gross monthly income of $5,019 or an annual gross income of $60,226 and still qualify for benefits, which is a modest increase from the previous year’s threshold.

Applications for assistance are accepted at local departments of social services in person or by telephone, with funding provided on a first-come, first-served basis. A list of local offices by county can be found by clicking here. Residents outside of New York City may also apply online for regular heating assistance benefits (click here).

Earlier this year, Governor Cuomo signed legislation extending a moratorium that prevents utility companies from disconnecting utilities to residential households that are struggling with their bills due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Utility companies must instead offer these individuals a deferred payment agreement on any past-due balance.

New Yorkers who receive HEAP assistance this season and continue to fall behind on their utility bills or are running short on heating fuel may also qualify for a one-time emergency HEAP benefit. Applications for emergency benefits will be accepted starting on Monday, Jan. 4.

Last year, more than 1.6 million homeowners and renters throughout the state received heating aid through HEAP. Among them were more than 530,000 households with a family member 60 or older, totaling roughly $98 million in heating assistance for elderly New Yorkers.

Help is also now available to assist eligible homeowners if their primary heating equipment is unsafe or not operating. Homeowners can apply to have their furnace or boiler repaired or replaced through the HEAP Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement program. Applicants for these benefits should contact their local department of social services for more information.

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