BOROUGH PRESIDENT KATZ TO QUEENS RESIDENTS: “HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE”

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Renders Borough Hall Available to Assist Residents with HEAP Applications

QUEENS, NY – Borough President Melinda Katz announced that residents who need financial assistance to help heat their homes this winter are encouraged to come to her office at Queens Borough Hall to apply for help from the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

“We do not know what Mother Nature has in store for us this winter, but we do know how harmful and even deadly winter temperatures can be for the elderly and to other vulnerable people,” Borough President KATZ said. “Many individuals and families are eligible for important and potentially life-saving financial assistance that will allow them to afford heating their homes. All Queens residents who are struggling to pay their heating bills should take advantage of this valuable program.”

HEAP is a federally funded grant program that helps low-income homeowners and renters defray the cost of their heating fuel. Eligible recipients can receive up to several hundred dollars per year to offset their fuel bills.

From now through March 14, 2018, HEAP application assistance will be available on Mondays and Wednesdays (excluding holidays) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Office of Borough President Melinda Katz at Queens Borough Hall (Room 225), 120-55 Queens Boulevard. No appointments will be accepted, and walk-in applicants will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.

Representatives from the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) will be available to directly assist people with applications. Multi-language assistance will be available. U.S. citizens and qualified immigrants can get HEAP assistance if they meet eligibility requirements.

Individuals must apply for HEAP benefits annually. That means someone who received a HEAP grant last year must re-apply again this year to receive HEAP benefits for the winter of 2017-2018. This year a family of four with a gross monthly income of $4,457 or less can receive HEAP benefits. This monthly income threshold will increase or decrease depending on the size of a household.

HEAP assistance is also available to those who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, Temporary Assistance or Code A Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

Eligibility for HEAP is based on a point-system that factors in household income, percent of income spent on energy costs, and the presence of vulnerable individuals (i.e. children under the age of six, adults aged 60 years or older, and those with a permanent disability). Applicants visiting the HEAP office must bring a copy of a recent utility bill as well as documentation verifying their income and rent and the date-of-birth and social security number of each household member. A checklist of the documents that must be brought to the HEAP office is available at http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hra/downloads/pdf/services/energy_assistance/heap.pdf.

In addition to helping to offset the cost of heating fuel, HEAP has an equipment repair and replacement component that can help eligible low-income homeowners repair or replace any broken heating equipment needed to keep a home’s primary heating source functional. Grants of up to $6,500 will be awarded, based on the actual cost incurred to replace or repair an applicant’s furnace, boiler and/or other essential heating equipment. Applications for such grants can be made at the Borough Hall HEAP office or at any other local HEAP office.

Additional details related to HEAP can also be obtained by calling by calling the New York State HEAP hotline at 1-800-342-3009 or visiting www.otda.ny.gov/programs/heap.

Follow Borough President Katz via @melindakatz or www.facebook.com/queensbpkatz

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