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Cooling Assistance Program Available During the Summer

by Katie Pyzyk June 4, 2012 at 2:45 pm 3,054 38 Comments

As the warm weather ramps up, Virginia’s Cooling Assistance Program is starting to accept applications from local residents.

The program, which is administered by Arlington County, helps residents in need with the cost of cooling their homes for the summer. Funding can assist with acquiring or repairing cooling equipment, and with paying utility bills.

To be eligible for assistance, a household must have a person with a disability, a person aged 60 or older, or a child under the age of six. Eligibility is also based on income and the number of people residing in a household.

Every year, the state determines what the maximum payment will be to each family participating in the program. Some years it’s around $100 for the summer, and last year it was $600. The applicant is responsible for any costs in excess of the limit. The state has not yet announced this year’s maximum payment.

Applications are currently being accepted, but can’t be processed until June 15. The last date applications and utility bills will be accepted is August 15. For more information contact Kay West at 703-228-1490 or Ive Ruiz at 703-228-1488.

  • Corey

    More nanny-state nonsense from the County – wasting my money on hipster bocce courts and happy hours, and now buying air conditioning for people? Try putting a cold cloth on your foreheads, folks – you don’t need the government to provide for your every little whim.

    What kind of example are we setting for people here? What incentive to poor people have to work harder if we’re constantly providing them with every little amenity people who’ve worked hard and succeeded have?

    • Mary-Austin

      This is Arlington. It is not your money it is the Board’s money. You should be grateful for their services and that they let you keep as much as they do.

      • soright

        yeah, mary, its pretty outrageous that the county thinks that folks over 60 need to have working AC at a time when summer temps are increasing year by year.

        • novasteve

          The reality is that there really aren’t that many old people in arlington, and this is just going to be some other welfare program that enables people to live in areas they can’t afford, If you choose to live in arlington, but that choices makes it so you can’t afford AC, then that tells you if you were smart, you would have chosen a less expensive area, like a responsible person would have, rather than relying on the hard work of others to pay for your choice in where to live. Nobody helps me pay MY bills. Nor would I want anyone too. I would always choose to live where I can afford. But now liberals are buying votes with my tax money. Thanks. Make people dependent upon government, get a vote in return. Buying votes with other people’s money. Classy. And of course I’m a hateful bigot if i have a problem with the socailism and criminal behavior of buying votes?

          • drax

            Right, so the solution is for old and disabled people to just move! Never mind the fact that they might have family living nearby who care for them, and that’s why they live here. Don’t think this through, steve.

          • nauckneighbor

            It is a state program, funded by state funds, which happens to be run by a Republican Governor. To apply your logic, this is republicans using tax payer dollars to buy votes.

            Regardless, if you haven’t noticed the people who qualify for assistance are the ones most susceptible to heat related illnesses, so I’d rather my taxpayer money go towards keeping them cool then paying for emergency room visits, which are much more expensive.

          • novasteve

            So heat related illness susceptibility is income related?

            I feel bad for anyone who choses to retire in Arlington. Maybe if old people lived in more affordable areas they wouldn’t need taxpayer money to use their AC? They would probably still have even more money fo rother things too given how much they must be spending living in Arlington.

          • Ballston

            It’s not open to everyone that’s low income. It’s only open to people with small children and the elderly, which is who nauck was referring to.

          • drax

            “So heat related illness susceptibility is income related?”

            No, Steve, heat-related illness is related to both being elderly/disabled/a small child AND not having enough income for AC.

            So…you’re a lawyer?

          • Jackson

            You whine about everything, don’t you? Seriously, a senior citizen on a fixed income can’t afford AC so he should move? How many perks do you get from the government? Everyone is getting something, so what are you taking that my taxes are paying for?

          • Crystal City

            There are A LOT of old people in Arlington. I live near quite a lot of them (and prefer them to younger people because they’re, um, quiet.) They all moved here before the cost of living skyrocketed and they’re all on fixed incomes. So are people who are disabled. And let’s face it, 6 year olds can’t work either. But if you really want to get down to it, it’s much cheaper for the county to pay a few utility bills for someone than to end up paying when they end up in the emergency room. (Or paying to figure out what to do with them when they die and can’t pay for it. That’s expensive too.)

          • soright

            “Or paying to figure out what to do with them when they die and can’t pay for it. That’s expensive too.”

            I think that may be the goal of some people. Culling the herd via global warming. Social darwinism at its finest.

          • soright

            “The reality is that there really aren’t that many old people in arlington”

            IF thats the case, the program won’t cost much, so why get bent out of shape about it?

          • novasteve

            Because it’s not limited to old people.

          • drax

            Old people, the disabled, small children – all who must also be low-income.

          • dk

            So you’re okay with it if it is just limited to old people?

          • drax

            If you get old, or disabled, someone willl help you pay your bills too, steve.

  • Douglas Parker

    Where can I sign up for Life-Is-Challenging assistance?

    I would like to also apply for the new Ice cubes grant for us folks without cold drinks.

    • nom de guerre

      Ice cube grant-1-800-ICE-CUBE.

      • Ice Cube

        You think you’re colder than me?

  • novasteve

    I thought greenie weenies would want to discourage the usage of AC to save the planet?

    • soright

      within reason – not to the point where people die. You do know that the Global warming – AC – global warming things is a vicious cycle, doncha? You could, you know, trade in your SUV for a bike. do it to keep grannie alive.

  • Ren

    How about applying for the county’s free trees instead?

    Also, kids under 6 who I know can handle the heat.

    • dk

      Generally the children under 6 who have trouble tolerating high heat and humidity are children who are chronically ill. For an example, you might read about the remarkable young woman in today’s WaPo who has cystic fibrosis. She is an elite high school soccer player but still has trouble breathing when the heat and humidity are high. She likely needs AC at times. It sounds like her family is probably able to provide this for her, thank goodness.

  • j

    It’s a state program that is administered at the county level — heating and cooling assistance programs run state wide.

    • novasteve

      Is there a car payment or credit card payment assistance program too?

      • drax

        No, because the elderly, disabled and small children usually don’t DIE of lack of a car or creidit card payments.

  • Guy LeDouche

    So clicking on the income requirement link, the maximum monthly income allowed under this program for 1 person of $1,211 is about the same as the average monthly social security payment for a retiree…so if it helps from keeping a retired person on a fixed social security income from dying from heat issues, then I can see this as a better use of taxpayer money than some other programs (artis-fail??) But what I find disturbing is that the link also shows a maximum income for a household size of up to 20!! I’m sorry, but if you have 20 people in your household, you’ve got bigger issues than not being able to pay for your A/C.

    • novasteve

      Also if I had 20 people in my household, I would be pretty stupid for chosing to live in such an expensive area..

      • Trev and the Vandals

        Disagree. The only way I could afford to live here before I got a couple promotions at my contractor gig was to pack 20 brahs in our house on Pershing.

        As of recently I meet the income requirement again…excluding the settlement.

  • Skippy Mayer

    Not a bad idea, but if you crowd 3 or more children into your home, you should not be eligible for this cooling. You should have known better and tried contraception!

    • Corey

      I AGREE!!! Those kids deserve to suffer for what their parents did.

    • drax

      Skippy Mayer hath declared three to be the limit!

  • Elmer

    Its a big improvement over how the state funded program was run several years ago when the Virginia county I was living in at that time gave the money to low incomers to purchase window air conditioners. The recipients after showing the county DSS worker the receipt for the air condt. purchase, then turned around and sold the units at yard sales and pocketed the dough for booze and meth.
    Some of them may be poor but they ain’t dumb.

    • Elmer

      I may have spoken too soon. I just looked at the application criteria and it appears you can still use the program to buy yourself a “cooling unit”.
      So watch for those yard sales. You may get a good buy on a new air conditioner!

    • drax

      And you know this because you read it in a reputable publication or saw it happen, Elmer? Or you just heard rumors?

  • Southeast Ben

    $600/yr seems generous. My monthly power bill has been around $65 – $110/mo throughout the course of the year for any given month. Seems like its helping out more than the summer months.

    • drax

      Do you have gas heating? Do you have the billing system where the power company spreads your costs across the year on an estimated basis instead of billing by actual power use each month?


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