Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush) announced that New York State is supplementing its Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) with $82.3 million in additional federal aid to help eligible households meet their home heating needs this winter. The funding comes in addition to the $178 million issued throughout the state so far this heating season.
“The exorbitant cost of keeping warm during the cold winter months has presented a real struggle for too many Brooklyn families,” said Jacobs. “Regular HEAP benefits – and now this added emergency benefit – allow low-income households, as well as households with vulnerable members like children, seniors or people with disabilities, to keep their heat turned on throughout the cold weather, keeping thousands of New York families safe and warm this season.”
The additional funding released this month covers a second emergency benefit of up to $700 per eligible household that will be made available to those who have already received HEAP funding this winter. The previous emergency benefit had a cap of only $600. So far this heating season, HEAP has issued benefits to more than 719,000 families statewide. This is the second time in HEAP history that a second level of emergency help has been made available; the program was added this year because of record-high energy costs.
“Qualified New Yorkers in a heating crisis can benefit from HEAP assistance,” Jacobs said. “Those who face an imminent power shut-off because of unpaid bills or have less than a 10-day supply of heating oil are eligible for the emergency funding. I urge people who need assistance to seek it. Keeping warm during the winter is a crucial matter and can be one of life or death.”
HEAP applications are available on the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance Web site at www.otda.state.ny.us/main/heap or by calling Assemblywoman Jacobs’ Community Service Office at (718) 434-0446. Applications will be accepted through May 15.