4/23/24 – Long Island, NY – As summer approaches and temperatures start to soar, many low-income households on Long Island face a difficult choice: endure the sweltering heat or strain their budgets to stay cool.

However, a new state initiative aims to provide relief by offering free air conditioning units to eligible families and individuals.

Governor Kathy Hochul recently announced that $22 million in federal funding from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) will be allocated to provide cooling assistance to at-risk New Yorkers. The program targets households with individuals who are particularly vulnerable to extreme heat, such as those with medical conditions exacerbated by high temperatures, children under the age of 6, or adults over 60.

Need help applying for your free AC unit? Call us today at 631-779-3196.

“With climate change bringing more severe heat waves, it’s crucial that we protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Hochul. “This program can be a lifeline for Long Island families struggling to stay cool and safe during the hottest days of summer.”

To qualify for the free air conditioning units, applicants must meet HEAP’s income eligibility criteria, which vary based on household size. The program covers the cost of the unit itself, as well as professional installation, ensuring that recipients can benefit from efficient cooling without shouldering the financial burden.

Long Island residents interested in applying for the cooling assistance should contact their local department of social services before August 31 or until funds are exhausted. The assistance is provided on a first-come, first-served basis, making prompt action essential for those in need.

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Last year, the program helped over 21,000 households across New York state, including numerous families on Long Island. With the increased funding for 2024, officials anticipate assisting over 27,000 households statewide, providing much-needed relief during the sweltering summer months.

Initiatives like this one are becoming increasingly vital for protecting vulnerable populations from the dangers of extreme heat. Long Islanders struggling with high cooling costs are encouraged to explore this opportunity and apply for the free air conditioning units, ensuring a safer and more comfortable summer for themselves and their loved ones.

Those who reside outside of the city can apply by contacting their local department of social services.