Cooling help for needy available

Staff report

SIDNEY — The Ohio Development Services Agency and Bridges Community Action Partnership will help income-eligible Ohioans stay cool during the hot summer months.

The Home Energy Assistance Summer Crisis Program provdes eligible Ohioans assistance paying an electric bill or assistance paying for central air conditioning or repairs. The program runs from July 1 until Aug. 31.

The Summer Crisis Program assists low-income households with a household member who is 60 or older and households that can provide physician documentation that cooling assistance is needed for a member’s health. Conditions can include lung disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

Eligible households can receive up to $300 each if they are a customers of a regulated utility or $500 each if they are customers of unregulated utilities such as electric cooperatives and municipal utilities. The assistance is applied to their utility bills or applied to central air conditioning repair costs.

Ohioans must have a gross income at or below 175 percent of the federal poverty guidelines to qualify for assistance. For a family of four, the annual income must be at or below $43,050.

Ohioans enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan Plus Program are not eligible, but can work with Bridges Community Action Partnership to identify other opportunities for assistance.

For information, call 937-507-9341.

Staff report