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

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Renders Borough Hall Available to Assist Residents with HEAP Application

 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).

“Queens has experienced some rough winters in recent years,” Borough President KATZ said. “Winter temperatures are just uncomfortable for most of us, but they can be harmful and even deadly to the elderly and to other vulnerable people. Fortunately, those who may not be able to afford to heat their homes can apply to HEAP for important and potentially life-saving financial assistance that will allow them to pay their winter heating bills. I urge all Queens residents who are struggling to pay their heating bills to take advantage of this vitally important program.”

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

From now and over the next several months, 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-serve 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.

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.

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 2016-2017. This year a family of four with a gross monthly income of  $4,423 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).

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 Borough President Katz’s HEAP office at 718.286.2899 or by calling the City’s HEAP hotline at 800.692.0557.

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

 
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