Ohio's June Heat Could Mean a Busy Season for Cooling Assistance
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Community Action Agencies in Ohio are gearing up for what could be a busy season for cooling assistance.
The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program helps low-income Ohioans struggling to stay cool by providing money to be used toward an electric bill or central air conditioning repairs.
Jennifer Wood, director of community engagement for IMPACT Community Action, noted with Ohio already seeing several days temperatures near 100 degrees, the need is great and growing.
"We're talking about folks living paycheck to paycheck, working two or three jobs," Wood pointed out. "These are the working poor that we are looking to assist. And because of climbing gas prices and food prices, this is a really important service to provide to the community."
To qualify for the Summer Crisis Program, households must have a gross income at or below 175% of the federal poverty guidelines; about $48,000 dollars for a family of four. The program runs from July 1 until September 30.
Eligible households must have received a disconnect notice, had their utility shut off, or require central air conditioning repair. Wood explained they also can apply if their household includes someone age 60 or older, with a doctor's note stating cooling assistance is needed.
"Some of those needs would include things such as lung disease, COPD or asthma," Wood outlined. "So, eligible households can receive up to $500 if they are a customer of a regulated utility, or $800 if they are a customer of unregulated utilities."
IMPACT Community Action hosts a "Beat the Heat" event Thursday, June 30, when people can schedule appointments for the Summer Crisis Program, and get information on other resources for households in need.
Other local Community Action Agencies throughout Ohio can also help with applications. Find one online at oacaa.org.
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