Business First of Columbus, June 30, 2008: Summer program provides cooling to those at risk

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Business First of Columbus

A state agency Tuesday will begin a seasonal crisis-assistance program directed at the elderly and low-income Ohioans whose health can be threatened by hot weather.

The Home Energy Assistance Program, a federally funded program handled by the Ohio Department of Development, will help low-income households pay for air conditioning or obtain cooling devices. The Summer Crisis Program will run until Aug. 31.

The financial assistance will be available to those susceptible to heat-related health problems, including Ohioans 60 and older and those with physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed.

Households must fall at or below 175 percent of federal poverty guidelines to qualify for funding. Under the guidelines, single-member households can earn no more than $18,200 a year and a two-person home can earn up to $24,500. Households of three and four can earn no more than $30,800 and $37,100, respectively. The guidelines cap at eight household members, with a maximum income of $62,300.

The program will provide up to $100 toward electric bill payments, and air conditioners or fans may be available within the $100 benefit cap.

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