Protect you and your loved ones this winter

Ruth Hassell-Thompson

October 27, 2009

This year’s cool fall has led many to focus on winter’s imminent arrival and has proved worrisome for residents who struggle to pay their heating bills. Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson is pleased to announce the availability of hundreds of millions of dollars through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LI- HEAP).  

The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a federally funded program that assists low-income households in meeting their immediate home energy needs. The Obama Administration is providing $359 million for home energy assistance to households across the state.

"The cruel weather of winter exposes New York’s most vulnerable residents, and many times having a roof over one’s head is just not enough. Too often, we hear in the news about the death of a community member who was found frozen in their home," said Senator Hassell-Thompson. "I want all of my constituents to know that help is available, especially during these difficult economic times."

In New York, almost a third of HEAP households have a household member aged 60 or older. Funds are targeted to households with the lowest income that pay a high proportion of household income for home energy.

Households are eligible for benefits if total gross monthly income is at or below 60 percent of the state median income. Assistance is also available if the household is in an emergency situation - without heating fuel, running low on fuel or having heat-related utility service currently disconnected or scheduled for disconnection. Eligible homeowners whose primary heating system is inoperable and in need of repair or replacement can also qualify.

The HEAP program is supervised in New York by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance and is administered at the local level by local departments of social services.

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