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

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BP Katz Renders Her Office Available Mon-Thu to Assist Residents with HEAP Application

QUEENS, NY – With the first cold snap of the season sending shivers throughout the city, Borough President Melinda Katz announced that residents in need of financial assistance to help heat their homes this winter are encouraged to come to her office at Queens Borough Hall to apply for the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

“Queens has already felt some bitter cold this season and I am sure much more chilly weather can be expected this winter,” Borough President Katz said. “Such conditions may be uncomfortable for most, but they can be harmful and even deadly to the elderly and to other vulnerable people in our borough.  Fortunately, those who have trouble affording the cost of heating their homes can apply to the HEAP program for valuable and potentially life-saving financial assistance.  HEAP is an important program that can help the families in the World’s Borough with their heating bills, and I encourage those who are eligible to apply.”

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.

HEAP application assistance is available Monday-Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM in the Office of Borough President Melinda Katz at Queens Borough Hall (Room 225), 120-55 Queens Boulevard.  Walk-ins only 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 is 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 must bring a copy of a recent utility bill as well as documentation verifying income, rent, and the date-of-birth and social security number of each household member. A list of the required documents is available at http://www.nyc.gov/html/hra/downloads/pdf/services/energy_assistance/heap.pdf.

For other locations in Queens for HEAP application assistance, please call Borough President Katz’s HEAP office at 718.286.0861.

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 2014-2015 season.  This year a family of four with a gross monthly income of $4,219 or less can receive HEAP benefits. This monthly income threshold will increase or decrease depending on the size of a household.

In addition to offering fuel bill assistance, 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 other local HEAP offices.

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

Additional details related to HEAP can also be obtained by calling Borough President Katz’s HEAP office at 718. 286.6861 or by calling the city’s HEAP hotline at 800.692.0557.

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