2004-11-05 / Community

State Urges Seniors To Sign Up For HEAP

Governor George E. Pataki has reminded New Yorkers that the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which assists lower-income seniors and families with heating costs in the winter, will officially open on Wednesday, November 3. The Governor urged eligible New Yorkers to sign up for the program.  Under the program, more than $220 million will be available to assist families during this winter’s heating season.

“As the cold weather arrives, we are reminded that winter can be tough in

New York and it is vitally important that we take the necessary steps to

help ensure that our seniors and working families have the resources

available to heat their homes and apartments,” Governor Pataki said. “Given the volatility of the energy market right now, we want to ensure that families do not have to choose between heating their home or purchasing food or medicine. That is why we are maintaining the household income levels at the highest allowable levels for this program, so the elderly and working families can balance their household budgets and stay warm throughout the winter.”

HEAP is a federally funded program administered on the state level by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA). The program is managed locally by county departments of social services and by the Human Resources Administration in New York City. HEAP provides grants for heating bills ranging from $40 to $400 depending on a household’s income, living arrangement, heating expenses, family members, and type of heat. Both renters and homeowners can be eligible for assistance.

Robert Doar, Commissioner of Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance said, “Given our heavy reliance on home heating fuels and the unpredictability of cost and supply of these products, the HEAP program provides valuable assistance to our low-income families. I commend Governor Pataki for being a leader on this issue and ensuring that additional funds, if needed, are available.”

During the 2003-2004 heating season, about 785,000 households received assistance through the regular HEAP program. An additional 137,000 households received emergency HEAP assistance.

Vulnerable individuals are defined as children under 6, adults aged 60 or

older, and disabled individuals.

According to the 2000 Housing Census data, New York has 7 million occupied housing units of which 3.7 million use natural gas, while 2.3 million use fuel oil for heating needs.

Beginning November 3, applications will be available for downloading off the OTDA website at www.otda. state. ny.us. Applications and eligibility information can be obtained at county departments of social services, county offices for the aging, or by calling the HEAP Hotline at1-800-342-3009.

HEAP Income Eligibility Levels:

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